Are more than 7 tons of human-sent space debris on Mars

(ORDO NEWS) — People have been actively exploring the surface of Mars for over 50 years. During this time, 18 artificial objects were sent there as part of 14 separate missions, and some of these missions are still ongoing.

During these five decades, Mars has become quite heavily polluted with all sorts of debris left behind by missions from such a flurry of activity.

So, most recently, in August 2022, NASA confirmed that the Perseverance rover found a piece of debris thrown overboard during landing.

This piece of garbage turned out to be a tangled wire. But this is not the first time that scientists have found debris on Mars. Recently, a lot of small wind-blown debris has been found.

Debris on Mars comes from three main sources: discarded equipment, inactive spacecraft, and crashed spacecraft.

Each mission to the Martian surface requires a module that protects the spacecraft.

This module includes a heat shield as the ship passes through the planet’s atmosphere, as well as a parachute and landing equipment so it can land softly.

As the ship descends, it drops parts of the module and they can just be located in different places on the surface of the planet.

At the same time, falling, this fragments can be broken into even smaller parts, which are gradually carried by the Martian winds.

Another source of debris is inactive spacecraft left on the surface of Mars.

Although, to some extent, they can be considered not garbage as such, but rather historical relics. In total, there are nine such inactive devices on the surface of Mars now.

Another source of Martian debris is crashed spaceships or their parts. So, it is known for sure about two crashed ships, and four more lost contact immediately after landing, which suggests their future fate.

Calculating the amount of garbage was not so difficult. Adding up the entire mass of spacecraft sent to the Red Planet, you can get 9979 kg.

Subtract the weight of the active ones – 2860 kg and, accordingly, the weight of the garbage brought to Mars by people was 7119 kg.


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