NASA’s Perseverance Rover Accidentally Draws Gigantic Penis on Mars

NASA’s Perseverance Rover Accidentally Draws Gigantic Penis on Mars

Things can get lonely on Mars. NASA’s four-wheeled robot has been roaming the Red Planet for more than three years, trekking across the harsh terrain on its own after losing its pal Ingenuity. But perhaps the Martian rover has found a way to connect with us from 140 million miles away. Because let’s face it, we all love a good old fashioned penis joke.

The Perseverance rover recently took an unfortunate shortcut on Mars, with its route tracing the outline of a huge Martian sausage. NASA teams released an image of the map of an ancient river channel on Mars, superimposed with the path traveled by the robot between January 21 and June 11. The result is a giant penis drawn across the Martian sands. Is it a lucky coincidence or a stroke of genius for rapport building? You decide.

The big Martian penis aside, NASA’s Mars rover reached an area nicknamed Bright Angel on June 9 to search for evidence of carbonate and olivine deposits along the inside of Jezero Crater’s rim. The area features rocky light-toned outcrops that may have been exposed by river erosion or sediments that filled the channel, according to NASA.

NASA’s Perseverance rover was traveling in the ancient Neretva Vallis river channel when it captured this view of Bright Angel — the light-toned area in the distance at right — with one of its navigation cameras on June 6.

Perseverance had trouble reaching Bright Angel due to the rough terrain. “We started paralleling the channel in late January and were making pretty good progress, but then the boulders became bigger and more numerous,” Evan Graser, Perseverance’s deputy strategic route planner lead, said in a statement. “What had been drives averaging over a hundred meters per Martian day went down to only tens of meters. It was frustrating.”

A mosaic image captured by Perseverance on May 27 that shows a boulder field on Mount Washburn.

As Perseverance encountered more large boulders along the way, the rover’s auto-navigation system, or AutoNav, would often stop after deciding the route was not to its liking. The mission’s navigation team, however, found a shortcut through the ancient river channel.

“We had been eyeing the river channel just to the north as we went, hoping to find a section where the dunes were small and far enough apart for a rover to pass between — because dunes have been known to eat Mars rovers,” Graser said. “Perseverance also needed an entrance ramp we could safely travel down. When the imagery showed both, we made a beeline for it.”

The rover traveled 656 feet (200 meters) in one sol (a Martian day), reaching a hill covered with intriguing boulders that it had never observed before on Mars. “The diversity of textures and compositions at Mount Washburn was an exciting discovery for the team, as these rocks represent a grab bag of geologic gifts brought down from the crater rim and potentially beyond,” Brad Garczynski of Western Washington University in Bellingham, the co-lead of the current science campaign, said in a statement.

After leaving Mount Washburn, Perseverance traveled 433 feet (132 meters) north to investigate the geology of another area on Mars, nicknamed Tuff Cliff, before making its four-sol, 1,985-foot (605-meter) journey to Bright Angel. And we’re sure glad the rover not only reached its destination, but also had some fun along the way. Cheeky bastard.

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