NASA identifies remains of strange ‘seaweed’ found on Mars by perseverance

Strange tangle of material found by Perverance on Mars on July 12, 2022 (NASA)

NASA He identified a strange tangle of noodle-shaped material in MarsSeen by rover for the first time perseverance From the US Space Agency on July 12.

The material is not extraterrestrial originBiological or otherwise, it is rather a piece of the Dacron web from EDL (Equipment for Entry, Descent and Landing) that landed the rover on Mars in February 2021. Dacron is a type of synthetic resin-embedded fiber often used in performance sail, but in the case of perseverance it was Most likely part of a thermal protection blanket, according to NASA Blog.

The blog noted that “this specific part of the web appears to have undergone a major crash/breakdown, indicating that it has been exposed to significant forces.”

Grid is not the first piece of debris left from the persistent rover landing that later appeared in the rover’s path.

In June, Perseverance discovered a piece of shiny, plate-like material, likely part of an EDL thermal blanket, trapped in a rocky outcrop. And in April, the Creativity Helicopter, which landed on Mars along with the persevering rover, captured images of the protective shell and parachute left by the EDL that carried it and persevered safely to the surface of the Red Planet.

The diversity of landing gear debris is an inevitable consequence of a soft landing on Mars, but it can present a challenge to the Perseverance mission team.

Perseverance is tasked with digging up rock and soil samples from the surface of Mars, samples that will be collected and returned to Earth in 2030 for analysis that can answer conclusively, once and for all, whether Mars ever was, or if it still harbored, original life. Forms.

Although sponsored by NASA sterilization perseverance Before launch to prevent contamination of Mars by terrestrial microbes, the rover team will need to use the rover’s cameras to try to make sure no EDL material gets into any of the samples drilled by the rover.

The blog noted that “sampling teams will also continue to monitor potential sources of contamination to ensure the safety of samples.”

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