Perseverance has been on Mars for a year now! What the rover managed to learn about the Red Planet during this time

(ORDO NEWS) — NASA’s Perseverance rover landed on the surface of the Red Planet. What did the device manage to do this year?

During this time, Perseverance and his assistant helicopter Ingenuity collected more than 50 gigabytes of data.

Lots of new photos

Perseverance has been on Mars for a year now What the rover managed to learn about the Red Planet during this time 2

Perseverance is equipped with 23 cameras. All of them were busy during this year. Together they took over 100,000 images of the Red Planet! These photographs help scientists understand how the planet’s landscape was shaped by water. They may be able to provide clues to help guide the search for ancient microbial life.

NASA publishes all photographs on its websites in public online galleries.

Helicopter Ingenuity took off 19 times

Perseverance has been on Mars for a year now What the rover managed to learn about the Red Planet during this time 3

The helicopter first flew over the surface of Mars on April 19, 2021. It was the first flight in the history of mankind on another planet. So far , 19 successful takeoffs have been made, the last of which took place on February 8, 2022.

Ingenuity is equipped with two cameras, with which the helicopter can take high-resolution footage, as well as create a high-quality 3D terrain map of Mars.

Obtaining oxygen

Perseverance has been on Mars for a year now What the rover managed to learn about the Red Planet during this time 4

One of Perseverance’s most exciting technical achievements is the MOXIE experiment to extract oxygen from the Martian atmosphere. Simply put, thanks to this technology, people will be able to have access to oxygen for breathing on Mars.

To get oxygen from the Red Planet’s atmosphere, MOXIE breaks down carbon dioxide (CO2), taking only one oxygen atom from it. The carbon monoxide is emitted back into the Martian atmosphere. In April 2021, MOXIE produced about 5.4 grams of 98% pure oxygen in one hour. This is equal to about 10 minutes for breathing.

Soil samples

Perseverance has been on Mars for a year now What the rover managed to learn about the Red Planet during this time 5

During the year, Perseverance took six samples of Martian rocks and atmosphere. Scientists on Earth are eagerly awaiting the return of samples to our planet.

On September 1, 2021, Perseverance drilled 6 cm into the surface of Mars and removed the rock core, carefully sealing it in a sample tube. This event marked the first time that a spacecraft has taken samples from another planet to be sent to Earth.

Confirmation of the “water” past

Perseverance has been on Mars for a year now What the rover managed to learn about the Red Planet during this time 6

An analysis of one of Lake Crater’s most massive geological features has confirmed that what is now a dry, wind-blown depression was an ancient lake that was constantly fed by a 190 km long river about 3.7 billion years ago.

It is likely that the river delta was mostly calm, but there is evidence of flooding in the area. Now that we know that Perseverance’s landing site was once a lake, it’s possible that the underlying deposits may be evidence of ancient aquatic life.

Lava under the sand

One area that Perseverance explores has been nicknamed Séítah (“Sita” meaning “among the sand”). The area’s geology was originally thought to be sedimentary in origin, with layers of rock formed by the compaction of sediments either by water or wind.

But when the rover collected a sample of these rocks, the scientists found that the crater floor was composed of coarser-grained igneous minerals, possibly from an ancient lava flow.

Detection of organic molecules

Already, the rover has detected carbonaceous organic chemicals in Lake Jezero crater. Molecules containing carbon have been found both inside worn rocks and in dust on the surface.

However, this is not necessarily a confirmation that life once existed on the Red Planet, since there are also non-biological mechanisms that create organic matter.

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