Science

Spaghetti or string? This NASA photo on Mars is intriguing

SPACE – It could almost pass for a ball of yarn or a bun of hair. NASA’s Perseverance rover, which is currently on Mars, fell on July 12 on an object that causes some bewilderment among experts. If the photo you see at the top of this article is intriguing, it still has the beginning of an explanation…

Persistence is connected to the parachute with a rope, allowing it to land smoothly. Therefore, the most likely explanation is that a piece of this rope broke.

“Perseverance has not previously been in the area where the string was found, so it is likely that it was blown there,” a spokesman for the Perseverance mission at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory told AFP. Moreover, four days after this discovery, Perseverance returned to this place, and the object disappeared.

This won’t be the first time Perseverance comes face to face with objects that will allow him to land. Last June, another photo showed what at first glance looks like a piece of aluminum foil sandwiched between two red rocks. In fact, it was a piece of thermal insulation that was used to land the robot.

Oasis on Mars

The purpose of Perseverance in this area is to find a trace of life. The area in question is actually a river delta, which, according to scientists, flowed into a huge lake billions of years ago.

Instead of a lake today: Jezero Crater, where the rover landed in February 2021.

It was in this funnel that in April he was able to photograph the parachute itself.

The small helicopter on board, named Ingenuity, for its part, took even more impressive pictures in flight: not only the parachute, but also the rear shield, which contained the latter before it was deployed. The shield appears badly damaged from hitting the ground after completing its mission.

NASA then commented that these images “may help ensure safer landings in the future.”

See also The HuffPost for some amazing shots of James Webb.

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