(ORDO NEWS) — The NASA Perseverance mission rover dug up rock samples at the bottom of the Lake crater that could possibly contain organic molecules.
The work of a research team from the Natural History Museum in London and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory has been published in Science.
Previously, there was a shallow lake at the site of the crater. The crater was formed as a result of a meteorite impact that crashed into the surface of Mars about 3.5 billion years ago, after which it filled with water.
In 2021, the Perseverance rover landed in the crater to collect rock samples from the Red Planet.
The scientists used data from the SHERLOC instrument to study the rocks and found the fluorescence of certain organic compounds, such as carbonates, in the studied olivine-rich rocks.
“Molecules could potentially be building blocks for life that never fully developed on Mars,” the researchers said.
When the rover returns to Earth, along with all the collected samples, scientists will be able to better study organic matter. This will allow a better understanding of the origin of the molecules.
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