Perseverance has left scientists with a gift on Mars, but they won’t be able to open it until 2033

(ORDO NEWS) — In the not-too-distant future, a planetary scientist will discover a tube filled with rocks that have arrived from Mars.

Thanks to the Perseverance rover, at least 17 such rocks and regoliths have been discovered. samples awaiting analysis on Earth.

To get them, the rover traveled about 13 kilometers (8 miles) during its geological tour of Mars.

Immediately after landing, the rover began to drill and scoop, collecting stones and sand into special pipes for transport.

This week he dropped his first load near a place called Three Forks. This pipe contains pieces of igneous rock that she found in January of this year.

It wasn’t just drop and run. Mission engineers had to make sure the tube landed safely. So they did it slowly. First, Perseverance pulled the container from the womb.

He then inspected everything with a camera before lowering the pipe 90 centimeters to the surface.

Then another picture showed the mission’s engineers. the sample was in a safe position on its side so that it was easy to pick it up.

Eventually, all containers filled with Perseverance will go to the labs on Earth. Scientists will analyze them to understand the chemical and mineral properties of the samples.

Persistence has left scientists with a gift on Mars but they wont be able to open it until 2033

From there, they can create a more accurate geological and atmospheric history of the Red Planet.

“The choice of the first base on Mars makes this research campaign very real and tangible,” said David Parker, ESA director of human and robotic research. Study. “Now we have a place to revisit with samples waiting for us there.”

What do we learn from Perseverance Mars rock samples?

Mars is the mystery of the planet. Its history is complex. There are volcanoes there. How long have they been active?

Canyons cut through the landscape. What caused these tectonic actions? Craters scratch the planet, digging up material from deep within.

And places on Mars clearly show the presence of flowing liquid water. But now there is no water flowing there. All this is hidden in subsurface ice or at the poles.

So, how do we learn more about the geological history of the planet?

The most direct way is to look at rock samples. Mars has igneous rocks as well as sandstones, mudstones, and clays.

And, of course, almost everywhere there is dust and sand. All this can tell you something about the time when lava flowed on Mars, lakes and oceans existed, and when all this happened.

A detailed technical analysis of igneous rocks will tell you how long ago the volcanoes were active.

Chemical and mineralogical clues in Martian rocks will help planetary scientists figure out if they’ve been in contact with water.

Finally, all this information should help scientists figure out if Mars could support life and when, and if so, when.

The rock samples that Perseverance collects come from different “modes” of rocks in Jezero Crater. Orbital images show that the region was once an ancient delta that was flooded with water.

Apparently, it is rich in clay minerals and carbonates, which are formed only in the presence of water.

The same carbonates contain information about the ancient climate of Mars. However, here’s another interesting thing about them: On Earth, living organisms can also produce carbonates.

It’s unclear if Martian organisms have the same life-friendly origins, but that makes Jezero Crater a tantalizing place. for sampling.

Installing a rock pipeline from Mars to Earth

The snorkeling expedition was part of the program from the very beginning. The original idea was for the rover to collect and deliver them to NASA‘s Sample Return Lander (SRL).

This mission is being planned and implemented by NASA and the European Space Agency for launch later this decade.

It should land in Jezero Crater near Perseverance to facilitate the delivery of the pipes. The lander is equipped with a sample transfer device built by ESA specifically for this job.

Of course, scientists don’t want to leave anything to chance.

So, the mission also has a backup plan in case Perseverance fails to complete the task. Mission scientists will send a couple of small helicopters to collect samples.

We know it can work because the Ingenuity helicopter has been working overtime showing scientists what the Martian helicopter is capable of.

Once the rocks are on board the SRL, they will be loaded into a small rocket that will take off from the surface.

Once in space, it will take them to an ESA-built spacecraft in orbit around Mars for a possible return to Earth. If all goes well, the stones are expected to be sent to a lab for more detailed study sometime in 2033.

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