Shortly thereafter. NASA’s enduring rover. The landing on Mars has already made history.
one of First analysis of rocks And the dust of Mars revealed that at some point in its history, the Jezro crater was a large lake fed by a small stream that flowed from somewhere on the Red Planet.
At the moment, Mars and Earth are on one side. Opposite the sun and the two planets They cannot communicate with each other. After working non-stop for the past 216 Martin days, the science teams are taking their first real break since the mission began.
I stand in a sweet spot between the dunes and rocks, ready for 2 weeks of solar contact, when the sun blocks the signals coming and going to Mars. During the silence, I will deal with things I can do on my own, such as watching the dust demons and taking in the weather.https://t.co/f6M1Vz2Q5h. pic.twitter.com/70xSLczS9Q.
– NASA’s steady Mars rover (ASNASAPersevere) September 28, 2021.
Near Gezro Delta
NASA has selected Jazero Crater as the landing site. Persistence especially because it gives the rover. Access to a large pile of rocks at the end of a dry river valley.
According to satellite images, scientists believe the rocks are made up of sediments collected by an ancient river that flowed into a lake about 3.5 to 3.5 billion years ago. If true, this place could be a great place to live.
However, the resolution of the satellite data is not high enough to tell with certainty whether the sediments were slowly accumulated in an ancient lake or a structure formed in dry conditions. The only way to know for sure was to take pictures of the surface of Mars.
The mission descended more than a mile (approximately 22 km) from the cliffs in front of the Delta. We are both part of the team in charge of the Mastcam-Z device, a set of cameras with zoom lenses that allow us to watch clips from the opposite side of the football field.
When the images returned to Earth, it was possible to see the sloping layers of sediment beneath the 80-meter-high cliffs. Upstairs we saw rocks, some 5 feet (1.5 meters) wide.
With the structure of these formations, the team has been able to recreate billions of years of geological history, which we published in the journal Science on October 7, 2021.
For a long time, possibly millions of years, a river flowed into a lake that filled the Gizaro pit. This river slowly accumulates the sloping layers of sediment that we see on the rocks of the delta. Later, the river dried up mostly, except for some major floods. These events had so much energy that they could take large boulders down the river bank and collect them on old sediments. These are the rocks we now see high on the rocks.
Since then, The climate is dry and windy They are slowly removing the rock.
Confirming that there was a lake in Jazero Crater is the first major scientific result of the mission.
Next year, the persistence will reach the top of the delta, along the way the microscope will study the rock layers in detail and collect many samples.
When those samples finally. Come to earthWe will find out if there are traces of microbial life in them that may have ever grown up in this ancient lake on Mars.