One of fiction’s best detectives will be going to Mars. An instrument named SHERLOC will be joining the Mars Perseverance rover’s mission to the Red Planet next year.
According to NASA, SHERLOC (which stands for Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman & Luminescence for Organics & Chemicals) was built at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California. It’s an instrument to search for sand-grain size clues in Martian rocks.
SHERLOC will be joined by his trusty companion, WATSON (which stands for Wide Angle Topographic Sensor for Operations and eNgineering). WATSON was built at Malin Space Science Systems in San Diego and is a camera to capture close-up images of rock textures.
Traveling to Mars this summer aboard @NASAPersevere:
SHERLOC = an instrument to search for sand-grain size clues
WATSON = a camera to capture close-up images
— NASA (@NASA) May 29, 2020
(ALSO READ: NASA’s new Mars 2020 rover gets official name)
NASA said that SHERLOC will be working with six other instruments aboard the Perseverance rover. These instruments will help give us a clearer understanding of Mars. It will help in the effort to create spacesuits that will hold up in the Martian environment.
The Mars Perseverance rover is set to touch down on the Red Planet next year on February 18, 2021.
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