Flaunting his name, the NASA Perseverance rover managed to extract rock samples from the surface of Mars. Through a statement, the US aerospace agency released the preliminary results of the analysis and announced that it is “a sustained potentially livable environment”.
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After a failed attempt in mid-August, Perseverance managed to meet its objective on Monday, September 6. That day, the rover drew its first sample from the rock identified as Rochette, which was called Montdenier. 48 hours later, he got a second sample, which was called Montagnac.
“It appears that our first rocks reveal a potentially habitable sustained environment. It is important that there have been water for a long time”, He specified Ken Farley, one of the geochemists that is part of the project.
The tweet with which NASA announced the news about the samples taken from Rochette rock (Twitter @ NASAPersevere /)
On Rochette’s composition, NASA noted that it has basaltic characteristics and may have originated from lava flows. “Each sample can serve as part of a larger chronological puzzle; placing them in the correct order, scientists will have a chronology of the most important events in the history of the crater, “says the statement issued on September 10. “Some of those events include the formation of the cráter Lake, the appearance and disappearance of Lake Jezero and the climatic changes of the planet in the past ”.
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Furthermore, the researchers detected salts that could contain tiny “ancient water bubbles” from the red planet. “They may have formed when groundwater flowed and altered the rock’s original minerals or, more likely, when liquid water evaporated, leaving salts behind,” explains the NASA text. “They could serve as microscopic time capsules, offering clues to the habitability of Mars”.
The Perseverance rover during the descent stage to the Martian surface (Reuters /)
The Perseverance, the vehicle that looks for signs of microbial life on the Martian surface, has as its main task the collection of material that will later be transported to Earth, on a joint mission with the European Space Agency to be held from 2030.
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“These samples are of great value for future laboratory analysis on Earth. Someday, we may be able to determine the sequence and timing of the environmental conditions that the minerals in this rock represent. This will help answer the big picture science question about the history and stability of liquid water on Mars, “he said. Mitch Schulte, another of the scientists in charge of the project at NASA.