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    After a well-deserved break, the Perseverance rover is back to investigating captivating rocks in the Jezero Crater on Mars. The break was taken in October during solar conjunction, a period when the sun is between Earth and Mars. Due to the planet’s placement, it halted NASA’s communications with the rover. The total duration of the solar conjunction started October 2 and ended on October 19.

    One of the rover’s missions is to collect samples of rocks and dirt on Mars that will be brought back to Earth in future missions. On October 25, the rover began investigating rocks on the planet’s South Séítah region. The rover uses an abrading tool on its robotic arm that can scrape away at rock layers to see what’s inside. 

    On November 4, a Facebook account run by NASA said “layered rocks like this often form in water, and can hold clues about what their environment used to be like. Let’s see if this would be another good place for #SamplingMars,” After scraping away with the rocks, the rover sent back images of a rusty-looking top layer, which appears to be a bevy of grainy minerals and sediments.

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