NASA’s Fortitude Rover has released its first full-color look on Mars, one day after its successful landing – and scientists are fascinated by the rocks captured on the red planet.
Researchers hope the small rocks filled with holes seen next to one of the six wheels of stubbornness hold the key to finding evidence of life on Mars, as the rover prepares for the next phase of its historic mission.
“I love rocks. Look at this right next to my wheel. Are they volcanoes or sedimentary? What story do they tell? Can’t wait to explore optimistic robot Tweeted on friday.
On a Press conference On Friday afternoon, NASA scientists echoed the excitement of detection.
The answer will help determine the geology and past climate of the region – including whether life would have ever existed beyond Earth.
“If these are volcanic rocks, we are incredibly excited about that from the perspective of a Mars specimen retreat because we can actually nail that age with samples from a volcanic rock,” Katie Stack Morgan, deputy project Scientist.
“We know full well that there are sedimentary rocks [nearby] Jajero craters were potentially habitable, ”Morgan said.
Jazero Crater where persistence is 3.8 and 3.9 billion years old on the ground – at a time when water was considered to be on Mars.
NASA hopes to be able to send a group of additional images to Earth by the end of the weekend, and officials said the rover is on track to begin driving by the end of the month and discover its environment.
By April, scientists hope that Perseverance can find a suitable launch site for its mini-helicopter.
The rover hopes to remain on the red planet for several years to collect data and crop samples, in an effort to eventually prepare for human exploration.
Perseverance’s sophisticated weather device will measure pressure, temperature, wind speed, and humidity on the planet, which NASA said will benefit future astronauts.
“This investigation is actually on the rover for purposes of preparing for future human exploration, and tells us what the modern Martian environment is,” Morgan said.
The researchers said that although there are years of work ahead, the success of the first wave of missions transformed them “on cloud nine” and into a “strange, dreamy state”.
Mars 2020 chief engineer Adam Steltzner said Thursday’s landing is the result of an “epic effort” that represents eight years and “an investment of more than 4000 human years” – and images that have already been produced by humans There is an important chapter in history.
Steltzner said at the press conference, “It is exhilarating, it is absolutely exhilarating, and it is the evocation of other images from our experience as humans that go into other solar systems, the images that bring us to our exploration process . ”
“And I’m very happy that we can make another contribution to that collection.”