NASA’s Mars Rover Is About To Land In Perfect Place To Hunt For Alien Fossils
NASA’s Mars rover is due to land on the red planet in the perfect place to hunt for alien fossils.
The rover, known as Perseverance, will touch down in the Jezero Crater on Thursday, February 18. Once said to be too treacherous a location due to sand dunes, cliffs and boulders, upgraded technology means the area will no longer be uncharted.
It’s hoped the rover will find the fossils of ancient microbes that would have swum in the Martian waters billions of years ago, potentially leaving imprints on the lake bed of the crater. Once upon a time, it would have been bursting with water, said to be the size of Lake Tahoe in the Sierra Nevada.
Check out NASA’s trailer for the rover landing on Mars below:
On NASA’s website, it describes Perseverance’s mission as seeking ‘signs of ancient life and collect samples of rock and regolith (broken rock and soil) for possible return to Earth’.
Experts believe there could be fossil rocks, described as stromatolites, in the crater, possibly along the former shoreline or in the dried-up river delta. It’s also hoped the rover will help us learn more about the planet’s geology,
As per Business Insider, Ken Farley, the project scientist for Perseverance, recently told reporters, ‘This is a tantalising similarity. It would, of course, be a fabulous scientific discovery to find that life existed beyond Earth.’
The rover will travel across a 15-mile route in its journey across the Jezero Crater. ‘This is a pathway that connects together all of the different habitable environments that we think existed within this lake and in its surroundings,’ Farley said.
He added, ‘This is a long traverse. It’ll take many years for us to do this. The reason we do this, though, is that this will allow us to come up with the best possible set of samples to be brought back to Earth, to answer the major questions that we have about Mars and about life.’
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