Even on Mars, where there is never a traffic jam, apparently there are still road hazards. Like any vehicle, Curiosity’s wheels have to roll over whatever lies in its path. Sadly, that path isn’t always smooth. Now the rover’s got a chunk of rock wedged in one of the grooves of its wheels.
NASA scientists aren’t too concerned about the stone. They don’t expect it to affect the performance of the Rover, and while plans have apparently been discussed to shake the rock free, “it is better to let this fall off naturally,” according to NASA scientists Chris Roumeliotis.
Curiosity’s wheels are already in pretty bad shape. Last year, it came to light that the rover’s wheels are already showing signs of significant wear —though one of the best solutions to prolong their life was said to be driving over smoother terrain, backwards. based on this photo, that has not been going quite according to plan.