A Martian meteorite that has fallen to earth is scheduled to take off with NASA’s “perseverance” Mars rover on the 30th and embark on a journey home. The meteorite, named sayh al uhaymir 008 (SAU 008 for short), has been kept in the natural history museum in London, UK. Researchers will use meteorites as calibration targets to test the operation of willpower’s Mars vehicle Sherloc, the BBC reported on the 27th.
Sherloc, which is installed at the end of willpower’s robotic arm, is composed of two imagers and two laser spectrometers. It will emit ultraviolet laser to the surface of Mars. By measuring the way ultraviolet light scatters on the surface of Mars, researchers can speculate on the composition of minerals and compounds on the surface of Mars, and then look for evidence of microbes on Mars.
the researchers were concerned that if Sherloc had a system error during its stay on Mars, they would not be able to detect it, so they placed Sau 008 and nine other substances in front of perseverance and had them scanned by Sherloc from time to time. The ground controller can judge whether Sherloc is working normally according to whether the scanning results meet the “known properties” of these items.
Luther bigg, a researcher at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said: “we’re going to look at calibration targets for the first 60 to 90 days, and may not look at calibration targets for the next six months, because we believe that the instrument is very stable.”
he said that if something interesting but difficult to explain was detected on the surface of Mars, they would check the calibration target and check whether the perseverance instrument was working properly.
Professor Caroline Smith, a researcher at the natural history museum in London, said that Sau 008 was formed 450 million years ago. It fell off Mars when an asteroid or comet hit Mars between 600000 and 700000 years ago, and fell to earth about 1000 years ago.