“Looking inside to see something that no one has seen before. I chipped away a small portion of this rock to remove the top layer and appreciate what’s underneath. I will focus on my next target to sample Mars”, Was published, in the first person, from the Twitter account of the NASA Perseverance rover that continues to explore the red planet with its team of technological tools.
The astromobile of the Mars Exploration Program, formed since 1993, used its robotic arm to wear down a rock, enter it and see its interior in the peripheries of the Jezero crater, a sector with a diameter of 45 kilometers where evidence suggests that it housed a lake ago 3.5 billion years. After seven months of travel, the Perseverance rover landed there on Thursday, February 18.
On a first impression, based on the images of the remote control robot, what is found below the rock surface appears to be a group of granulated sediments and minerals. And these compounds would give clues about what the lake and the river delta – a geographic accident that consists of a cluster of river arms – were like in the times when Mars had warmer and more humid climates.
Benjamin Weiss, professor of planetary sciences in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), clarified in a statement that they have not found water, but there is sufficient evidence from a past to suggest it.
For Tanja Bosak, team member and associate professor of geobiology at MIT, this is the opportune moment to look for all kinds of fossils and trust that one day they will track down rocks with signs of life. “So it’s a marathon, with a lot of potential,” he added.
The Perseverance rover and the other robotic exploration missions, such as Curiosity’s, had taken a break from October 2 to October 17 due to the solar conjunction, a phenomenon of every two years with a duration of two weeks that forces stop communications when Earth and mars They are on opposite sides to the Sun.
“It is impossible to predict what information could be lost due to interference from charged particles from the Sun, and that lost information could endanger the spacecraft,” said the POT.
The Perseverance rover continued to measure the weather, looking for dust eddies and listening to ambient sounds. Meanwhile, engineers downloaded mission information packets with a radio system called the Deep Space Network.
Later, the Martian rover will collect more rock samples to bring back to Earth and search for microbial life from 3 billion years ago.
“The rover will characterize the planet’s geology and past climate, pave the way for human exploration of the red planet, and be the first mission to collect and store Martian rocks and regoliths (broken rocks and dust). Subsequent NASA missions, in cooperation with ESA (European Space Agency), would send spacecraft to Mars to collect these sealed samples from the surface and return them to Earth for in-depth analysis, ”noted the United States space agency. United.