Surprise at NASA: Persistence Rover Found Blanket on Mars

Surpresa na NASA: rover Perseverance reencontra cobertor em Marte

The Persistence rover, which is exploring Mars, set a curious record: a piece of aluminum foil between mars stones, The object is part of a thermal blanket – a type of blanket – that protects the rover during its landing on the Red Planet.

According to the space agency, the piece of blanket was found about two kilometers from the landing site of Perseverance — which arrived on the Red Planet more than a year ago. The agency believes he may have come from the jetpack (photo below), a descent module that uses retrorockets to slow down the probe and smoothly drop the rover to the surface.

Photo of the jetpack taken during the Perseverance landing on Mars in February 2021. Image: NASA/Handout

space junk on mars

Amazingly, it is not uncommon to find debris on Mars. It was made by Ingenuity Helicopter in April this year. Persistence rear shell and parachute photo, in the middle of a field of rubble. However, getting the thermal blanket so far from the landing site was a big surprise.

NASA raises the question whether the blanket fell between the rocks during the landing or was carried by the air there. As much as this sounds like a trivial question, NASA is interested in answering this question, as it generates insight for agency engineers about how probe components behave during the entry, descent and landing process on Mars. .

Detail of fragments of thermal blanket found on Mars Image: NASA / Disclosure
Detail of fragments of thermal blanket found on Mars Image: NASA / Disclosure

Persistence landed on Mars in February 2021 and its primary mission is to search for signs of ancient microbial life on the planet. In addition to studying the geology and climate of our solar system’s neighbor – paving the way for future manned space missions – the rover collects and stores Martian rocks and regolith for future investigations to bring to Earth over the next decade. doing.

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About the author: Raven Weber

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