No, this is not proof of superior (however careless) Martian life.
On Monday (June 13), NASA’s Perseverance rover snapped a photograph of a shiny silver object wedged between two rocks on the ground of the Crimson Planet’s Jezero Crater, which the car-sized robotic has been exploring since its February 2021 landing.
This house trash just isn’t native to Mars; Perseverance hauled it from Earth, the rover’s handlers mentioned.
Associated: 12 superb pictures from the Perseverance rover’s 1st yr on Mars
“My workforce has noticed one thing sudden: It’s a chunk of a thermal blanket that they assume could have come from my descent stage, the rocket-powered jet pack that set me down on touchdown day again in 2021,” Perseverance workforce members wrote through the rover’s Twitter account (opens in new tab) in the present day (June 15).
“That shiny little bit of foil is a part of a thermal blanket — a fabric used to manage temperatures. It’s a shock discovering this right here: My descent stage crashed about 2 km [1.2 miles] away. Did this piece land right here after that, or was it blown right here by the wind?” they added in one other tweet (opens in new tab), which featured a closeup of the blanket bit.
This is not the primary time we have gotten a take a look at a number of the gear that helped Perseverance hit the pink dust safely. On April 19, NASA’s tiny Ingenuity helicopter flew over the rover’s backshell and parachute, snapping superb pictures from a wide range of angles.
That aerial imagery helps engineers assess the efficiency and situation of the backshell and chute, which might inform the design of future Mars missions, NASA officers have mentioned.
That shiny little bit of foil is a part of a thermal blanket – a fabric used to manage temperatures. It’s a shock discovering this right here: My descent stage crashed about 2 km away. Did this piece land right here after that, or was it blown right here by the wind? pic.twitter.com/uVx3VdYfi8June 15, 2022
Perseverance is attempting to find indicators of historic Mars life and gathering samples for future return to Earth. Billions of years in the past, Jezero hosted a lake and a river delta and is subsequently an excellent place to do such work, mission workforce members have mentioned.
The rover has taken loads of fascinating pictures that do not embrace scraps of its personal protecting gear. Over the weekend, for instance, Perseverance snapped a memorable shot from Jezero’s delta area that featured a balancing boulder and a rock that appears strikingly like an open-mouthed snake head.
Mike Wall is the writer of “Out There (opens in new tab)” (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a ebook in regards to the seek for alien life. Observe him on Twitter @michaeldwall (opens in new tab). Observe us on Twitter @Spacedotcom (opens in new tab) or on Fb (opens in new tab).