A new discovery on Mars intrigues scientists

The shiny piece of aluminum is part of a thermal blanket used to protect the robot and control temperatures.

Photo: Reproduction/Nasa Twitter

The shiny piece of aluminum is part of a thermal blanket used to protect the robot and control temperatures. (Photo: Reproduction/Nasa Twitter)

NASA, the American space agency, announced that its robot Perseverance had discovered “something unusual” on the surface of Mars.

It is a piece of aluminum foil that the agency’s scientists believe was part of a thermal blanket used to protect the robot before it landed on the Red Planet.

The unusual thing about this, according to NASA, is the fact that the material was found about 2 km from the Perseverance landing site.

“This piece landed here after that [do impacto]or was it blown away? asks NASA.

Mars has a thin atmosphere composed mostly of carbon dioxide, argon, nitrogen, and a small amount of oxygen. According to NASA, winds from strong dust storms on the planet can cause gusts of more than 90 km/h.

The robot landed in February 2022, in the Jezero Crater, an area of ​​the planet that was once a lake for billions of years.

The goal of the project is not only to better understand the formation and early evolution of the star, but also to analyze the history of geological processes that have shaped Mars over time and to scientifically interpret the potential of the planet to have welcomed life.

In addition, the mission also aims to help understand the science of Martian geology, something fundamental for preparations for a possible manned trip to the planet.

Since the arrival of Perseverance on the red planet, the NASA robot has already taken several curious photos.

Nasa and Musk

SpaceX could seriously damage NASA’s only route to space if its next rocket to launch explodes. Billionaire Elon Musk’s company is accumulating a series of unsuccessful tests that have already resulted in previous explosions.

The fear was shared by NASA and, according to space operations manager Kathy Lueders, a repeat of a failed launch can be “pretty devastating”. Indeed, the Starship spacecraft must leave the launch complex 39A, in Florida (United States), the only route that takes American astronauts to the International Space Station. “We all recognize that if you had an early failure like we had on one of SpaceX’s first flights, it would be quite devastating for 39A,” he said.

Musk wants to show customers that the Starship, which he sees as humanity’s path to Mars, can successfully reach orbit, a crucial step in the rocket’s development that is already facing long delays.

However, putting the plan into practice could take even longer, as NASA wants SpaceX to ensure that its plan to launch the spacecraft does not compromise the agency’s infrastructure.

By contrast, Musk’s proposals to address the agency’s concerns, which include a plan to launch American astronauts from another launch pad in Florida, could take months to pass.