NASA rover makes sensational discovery on Mars – and solves “one of the greatest mysteries”

NASA rover makes sensational discovery on Mars – and solves "one of the greatest mysteries"

The Jezero crater on Mars that has been researched according to the latest findings visualizes this.

© NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/LPG

The NASA rover “Perseverance” explores Mars — and clears up an important question shortly after its arrival.

Cassell / Pasadena – NASA faces major tasks on rover “Perseverance” Mars planet*. Among other things, it should look for signs of earlier microbial life on the Red Planet and research the geology and pre-Mars climate. The rover has already answered an important question with the first images sent to Earth, as NASA* now reports. Recording and simultaneous study was published in the journal Science.

“This is an important observation that confirms to us once and for all that Jezero Crater contained a lake and a river delta,” said study lead scientist Nicholas Mangold in a NASA message. Today the Jezero crater, in which “Perseverance” landed in February 2021, is bone dry. But once there was water, experts draw conclusions from the Mars rover’s recordings. So Jezero Crater 3.7 billion years ago was a lake that was fed by a small river.

NASA rover reveals: Jezero crater on Mars was once a lake

The recording also tells experts that the lake must have been heavily flooded. According to the researchers who worked with Mangold in their study, these floods carried large boulders kilometers along the river and deposited them in the lake where they are located today.

nasa-mars-jezero-krater-perseverance-wasser-see.jpg

© NASA/JPL

NASA rover “Perseverance” – its unveiling is no coincidence

It’s no coincidence that “persistence” hits the bull’s eye soon after it arrives. The landing site at Jezero Crater was selected by NASA experts because it was suspected that water once flowed there. Recordings from Mars Orbiters had already shown that Jezero Crater a . sees like dry lake* Connected to a river delta. “The rover has solved one of the biggest puzzles ever without going anywhere,” says Benjamin Weiss, a delighted planetary scientist. “Until we got there, it was always a question: Was the crater ever a lake?”

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Mars experts believe that the Red Planet once had water on its surface, but dried up about 3.5 billion years ago. At that time, according to the current state of research, Mars lost its magnetic field and gradually lost its atmosphere. assumes another theory that Mars was so small that it could not hold water permanently*.

NASA Plans: Rover “Perseverance” is to Visit the East River Delta

Meanwhile, the rover “Perseverance” has covered about 2.6 kilometers in Jezero Crater and if all goes according to plan, it will take a closer look at rocks pulled from afar to solve the mystery of the lake. It is planned that the rover will drive across the East River Delta to collect soil samples. Experts believe that there may be traces of past life in the water in the sediments of the former lake. Therefore, “persistence” should also collect such samples. “Now we have the opportunity to search for fossils,” explains Tanja Bosak of MIT.

Soil samples that Persist collects will be stored on the surface of Mars by the rover. A future mission will bring samples from Mars back to Earth, where they can be directly examined by scientists. “It will take some time to get to the stones that we hope will contain traces of life. This is a marathon with great potential,” Bosak continued.

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NASA rover “Perseverance” – soil samples from Mars to be sent to Earth

Until then, research will have to rely on “persistence” and the older NASA rover “Curiosity,” which conducts research on Mars in a different area. “A better understanding of Jezero Crater is critical to understanding the changing hydrology in the region,” said persistence scientist Sanjeev Gupta in a NASA release. “It could give valuable insight into why the entire planet has dried up.”

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Weiss also has another hope: It’s possible that the time can be found in the rock when the crater “moved from an Earth-like, habitable environment into this ravaged wasteland,” he explains. “These debris beds could be records of this transition. We’ve never seen anything like this elsewhere on Mars.” (tab)*fr.de an offer from ippn.media.

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