When NASA announced it had found methane on Mars, the world’s attention was drawn to the planet. While many were excited about finding signs of life outside Earth, there are still concerns that humans may be doing irreversible damage to our own planet by taking a peek at another one.
In the sphere of Mars-related space research, America is the dominant actor. NASA, the country’s space agency, has many robots on Mars collecting data. The Perseverance rover is one among them, and it gathered yet another rock sample from Mars.
The mineral olivine is abundant in the sample. All of these processes are operated remotely and rely significantly on Artificial Intelligence, robots, and renewable energy. This is due to the fact that the robots are millions of kilometers distant and follow predetermined routines.
Curiosity was NASA’s first robot on Mars.
It has been operational since August 2012. Then, in 2018, came InSight, a mission to investigate the planet’s innards. In February 2021, Perseverance and Ingenuity, the helicopter, arrived on the site. It was the first time a helicopter lifted off and landed safely on another planet. The Americans have devised a strategy.
According to the Daily Mail UK, the newest sample will stay on Mars until it is collected by a future expedition and sent to Earth for study. Perseverance arrived on the extraterrestrial surface in February and is still collecting samples. On the rover, there are provisions for 43 titanium tubes. These tubes are used to store the samples. According to a news story from December 2020, NASA and ESA will collaborate on the Mars Sample Return mission.
In the Jezero crater on Mars, there might be signs of ‘life.’
At the moment, the Perseverance rover is at the Jezero crater. This location of Mars was chosen by NASA because it possesses the unmistakable evidence of a lake and river delta. As a result, it looked to be a perfect location to begin the practice of looking for evidence of “life.” The rover’s main objective is to survey the area for indications of life.
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These might represent signs of microbial life in general. Perseverance has already gathered its first two samples, according to the Daily Mail UK. It was September at the time. Another sample disintegrated and was unfit for consumption. The most recent sample comes from an area with numerous layers of rocks. A rock structure like this, according to the JPL researchers, might imply that water formerly flowed there.
Interestingly, China’s Zhurong rover is also on Mars, most likely on missions identical to NASA’s. China is a latecomer to space-related operations, but it surprised the globe by sending a rover to the Moon’s far side. It desired to investigate the Moon’s unseen regions in search of useful materials.
By 2030, NASA hopes to return some samples to Earth.
NASA will have to return to Earth to study the rock samples. Only then will scientists be able to conduct a thorough investigation. The goal would be to confirm the existence of microbial life in some manner. The technique for getting rock samples from Mars is described in the Daily Mail UK.
Perseverance will drop the tubes carrying the components on the surface of Mars when it reaches a suitable site.
They would be collected by a future recovery operation. This mission would include NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA). The US space agency hopes to place people on the Moon in 2024 and send them to Mars by 2033.
On Mars, the ingenuity helicopter performs an essential function.
NASA’s Perseverance rover, according to Space, has taken a helicopter with it. Its name is Ingenuity, and it has already shown its usefulness by undertaking an aerial study of the area. This is the first time a helicopter has taken off from an extraterrestrial planet and returned to base. It is presently searching for Perseverance after completing a successful technological demonstration mission. It will be able to recognize the tough areas, and the rover will be able to take appropriate evasive measures to guarantee its safety. With its Ingenuity chopper, NASA made history on Mars.
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