NASA robot probe collects samples of ‘strange’ Martian rock – BBC News Thai

image source, NASA

6 hours ago

patrol robot The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration or NASA’s “Persistence Rover” (Persistence Rover) has almost completed its first mission on Mars.

Persevia has collected samples of different types of rocks and will leave them on the surface of Mars. In order to recover these rock samples back to study the world in the next mission.

It is now 17 months since this scout robot traveled to the area. “Jezero Crater” on Mars

Everything the robot nicknamed “Percy” has seen is evidence to scientists that it has reached the perfect point to search for traces of life on the Red Planet.

Persevia’s main goal is not to look for modern life. The harsh environment on Mars makes it difficult for life to survive. So the main task of the rover is to find traces of life that could have been in the crater basin that probably formed a lake billions of years ago.

The team of scientists hoped that this ancient history will be recorded in these “amazing” rock samples collected from Persevia. It will be kept in “storage” for the next few months.

Professor David Schuster, one of the scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, who oversaw the mission, said: “If the ancient environment of the Jezero Crater was similar to the Earth’s environment 3.5 billion years ago, it would be the same . of Earth. come It can be assumed that biological processes will leave traces on these rocks we are studying.”

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Persevia Exploring the Jezero Crater

NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) plan to collect these rock samples back to Earth. This ambitious plan includes reestablishing the journey to Mars. The entire system landed on Mars. use a Rocket helicopter traveling to Mars and transport vehicles to travel back to Earth

Scientists aim to return these rock samples back to Earth by 2033.

These rocks contain samples of volcanic rock that Persevia has excavated from the surface of the Jezero Crater. This can help us determine if this area has previously been a source of water.

Scientists are very hopeful that the rock samples collected will help tell the true age of Mars. which can at present only be done by indirect inference.

Other rock samples are sedimentary rocks that Persevia has collected in recent months from sedimentary rocks in the delta, located on the western hemisphere of the 45 g wide crater.

The delta is formed by the deposition of silt and sand that flows from rivers into larger bodies of water. This is a geological feature that may have left traces of ancient microbes.

Look at the sedimentary core samples drilled by Persistence.  Wildcat Ridge is on the left

image source, NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSS

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“Wildcat Ridge” sedimentary rock collected by Persevia in the Yezero Crater Basin.

One example of sedimentary rock, known as “Wildcat Ridge”, was formed from the silt in the depleted Jezero Crater Basin. Scientists have discovered that it is loaded with salt. But Persevia’s instruments show that this rock is also rich in organic compounds. and carbon compounds

Although it is an exciting discovery, Dr Sunanda Sharma, a scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), points out that organic compounds have not shown any evidence of the existence of such substances always alive This is because that these compounds can be formed by non-living chemical processes, such as the interaction between water and rock. Organic matter can also be found in dust in the solar system. (interstellar dust)

Persevia Rance

image source, NASA

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Stone samples obtained from Persevia will be recovered for further study on Earth in the next mission.

in the last 4 months Persistence surveyed the steep 40-meter slope along the delta. After this, he descended to survey the plains of the nearby Jezero Crater Basin to collect rock samples. Which will be contained in a titanium rod that can be left on the surface of the planet. to wait to be retrieved back into the world later

Dr. Rick Welch, project administrator at JPL, said the team is aiming for Persistence to collect about 10 to 11 rock samples pending recovery on the next mission.

In the past, a team of NASA engineers trained Persevia to throw a rock specimen collected in the rover for recovery. before sending actual operational orders to Mars A decision is expected to be made at a NASA meeting on October 19.

The rock samples are stored in titanium tubes.  A collection of them will be released on the surface soon

image source, NASA/JPL-CALTECH/ASU/MSSS

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The rock samples are contained in titanium rods that can be left on the Martian ground.

The first rock samples from Persevia are expected to be left on the surface of Mars pending recovery. It will be a guarantee that scientists will gather back to study the world. In case he crashes and can’t continue the rest of the mission.

The team of scientists wanted to collect more samples. And there may be plans to collect samples of Martian rocks based on where Persevia explores in the future.

He praised Dr. Laurie Glace, NASA’s Director of Planetary Sciences, the Persistence team for reaching this goal.

“We’re not just exploring the right area. But we’re also providing the right spacecraft and scientific equipment to explore the ancient environment on Mars,” he said.

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