NASA's Perseverance rover captures "something unexpected" and it's not Martian
NASA's Perseverance rover is yet to find proof of life on Mars, but it has captured "something unexpected" on the red planet. The car-sized robot has found a silver object wedged between two rocks on the floor of the Jezero crater and surprisingly enough, it has nothing to do with Martians. The debris found is believed to be a part of the rover itself.
Why does this story matter?
- Humanity's search for life on Mars dates back to the late '60s. Although we are yet to find anything concrete, several missions to our red neighbor have shown promising signs.
- Perseverance, one such mission, has been looking for signs of ancient Martian life for over a year.
- It is yet to discover any, but the latest find is proof that it is working hard.
What did the Perseverance rover find?
Perseverance landed on Mars in February last year. The rover's landing was facilitated by its descent stage, a rocket-powered jet pack that comes into play after the parachute. According to NASA, the silver object captured by the rover is a piece of a thermal blanket that may have come from the descent stage. The thermal blanket protects the rover from extreme temperatures during landing.
NASA surprised to find the litter 2km from landing site
NASA was surprised to find the shiny litter at the particular location it was found, as it is 2km away from the rover's landing site. NASA wrote in surprise, "Did this piece land here after that, or was it blown here by the wind?"
Was it wind...or something else?
That shiny bit of foil is part of a thermal blanket – a material used to control temperatures. It’s a surprise finding this here: My descent stage crashed about 2 km away. Did this piece land here after that, or was it blown here by the wind? pic.twitter.com/uVx3VdYfi8— NASA's Perseverance Mars Rover (@NASAPersevere) June 15, 2022
Perseverance is looking for evidence of ancient life on Mars
Perseverance rover is on Mars hunting for evidence of ancient life. Since its landing, the robot has been exploring the planet, collecting samples, and sending vital information back to Earth. It is currently on the floor of the Jezero crater. The site was picked based on previous observations that it hosted a big lake and a river delta before Mars dried up.