Entertainment · June 18, 2022

Perseverance Rover captures photo of discarded thermal blanket on Mars

It turns out that Earth isn’t the only planet humans are contaminating.

A new image taken by NASA’s Perseverance rover captures the sad reality of how we’re already littering Mars.

Engineers discovered what they said was a discarded thermal blanket Used to protect the car-sized vehicle from the extreme temperatures it was exposed to during landing.

“It’s a surprise to find this,” they said of the descent of the Perseverance taking place just over a mile from where the debris was found.

The team added, “Did that piece end up here afterward, or was it blown here by the wind?”

It’s not the first time a wreck has been sighted on the Red Planet this year.

Depressing: Turns out Earth isn’t the only planet humans are contaminating. That’s because a new image taken by NASA’s Perseverance rover captures the sad reality of how we’re already littering Mars. Engineers discovered a discarded thermal blanket (pictured)

“It’s a surprise to find this,” said engineers as the Perseverance’s descent occurred just over a mile from where the wreckage was found

The team added:

The team added, “Did that piece end up here afterward, or was it blown here by the wind?”

In April, the Ingenuity helicopter captured an image of the landing gear used on its arrival with Perseverance in February last year.

A parachute and the cone-shaped outer shell that protected the rover in space and during its fiery descent to the Martian surface were seen in incredible detail.

The latest discovery comes amid growing concerns about space debris, not only on other planets like Mars, but also closer to home.

There were concerns about contamination of boots, shovels and vehicles left behind on the moon by the Apollo missions, as well as debris dumped on the lunar surface from new missions.

Spent rocket engines, defective satellites, and other leftover parts are also considered dangerous to the International Space Station.

It has sparked debate among national space agencies about the best course of action for the future.

Last month, Perseverance reached a pivotal moment in its search for evidence of past life on Mars when it began climbing an ancient delta in search of sampling sites that might contain ancient microbes and organic matter.

This ascent is for reconnaissance as the rover takes a tour, looking for rocks that have the best chance of holding secrets about whether extraterrestrial life once existed on the red planet.

It's not the first time a wreck has been sighted on the Red Planet this year.  In April, the Ingenuity helicopter captured an image of the landing gear used on its arrival with Perseverance in February last year (pictured).

It’s not the first time a wreck has been sighted on the Red Planet this year. In April, the Ingenuity helicopter captured an image of the landing gear used on its arrival with Perseverance in February last year (pictured).

A parachute and the cone-shaped outer shell that protected the rover in space and during its fiery descent to the Martian surface were seen in incredible detail

A parachute and the cone-shaped outer shell that protected the rover in space and during its fiery descent to the Martian surface were seen in incredible detail

On the way back down, the rover will then collect some of these specimens from Jezero Crater, leaving the samples at the base of the delta for future missions to retrieve.

The US space agency wants these rocks returned to Earth in the 2030s so they can be subjected to detailed analysis.

Scientists hope they will not only provide answers about possible ancient life on the Red Planet, but also reveal more about the Martian climate and how it evolved.

NASA said Ingenuity’s images of the destroyed landing gear had the potential to ensure safer landings for future spacecraft like the Mars Sample Return Lander.

“Perseverance had the best-documented Mars landing in history, with cameras showing everything from parachute inflation to touchdown,” said Ian Clark, a former Perseverance systems engineer who now leads the effort, samples from Mars from JPL in Southern California transport back to earth.

NASA's Perseverance rover (pictured) has reached a pivotal moment in its search for evidence of past life on Mars.  The car-sized robot will begin today climbing an ancient delta in search of sampling sites that may contain ancient microbes and organic matter

NASA’s Perseverance rover (pictured) has reached a pivotal moment in its search for evidence of past life on Mars. The car-sized robot will begin today climbing an ancient delta in search of sampling sites that may contain ancient microbes and organic matter

Scientists hope they will not only provide answers about possible ancient life on the Red Planet, but also reveal more about the Martian climate and how it evolved

Scientists hope they will not only provide answers about possible ancient life on the Red Planet, but also reveal more about the Martian climate and how it evolved

“If they either confirm that our systems worked the way we think they worked, or even provide a data set of technical information that we can use to plan for the return of Mars samples, it will be amazing.”

“And if not, the images are still phenomenal and inspiring.”

In images of the upright outer shell and the debris field that resulted from it hitting the surface at about 78 mph (126 km/h), the outer shell’s protective coating appears to have remained intact during entry into the Martian atmosphere.

Many of the 80 high-strength suspension lines connecting the back shell to the parachute are visible and also appear to be intact.

Spread out and covered in dust, only about a third of the orange-and-white parachute is visible – at 21.5 meters wide, it was the largest ever deployed to Mars – but the canopy shows no signs of damage from the Supersonic airflow during inflation.

NASA MARS 2020: PERSEVERANCE ROVER AND INGENUITY HELICOPTER SEARCH FOR LIFE ON THE RED PLANET

NASA’s Mars 2020 mission was launched to look for signs of ancient life on the red planet to help scientists better understand how life on Earth evolved in the earliest years of the solar system’s evolution Has.

The main rover, named Perseverance, is exploring an ancient river delta in the Jezero Crater, which was once filled with a 1,600-foot-deep lake.

The region is believed to have harbored microbial life around 3.5 to 3.9 billion years ago, and the rover will examine soil samples to look for evidence of life.

NASA's Mars 2020 rover (artist's rendering) is searching for signs of ancient life on Mars to help scientists better understand how life evolved on our own planet

NASA’s Mars 2020 rover (artist’s rendering) is searching for signs of ancient life on Mars to help scientists better understand how life evolved on our own planet

The $2.5 billion (£1.95 billion) Mars 2020 spacecraft launched on July 30 with the rover and helicopter inside – and landed successfully on February 18, 2021.

Perseverance has landed in the crater and will slowly collect samples that will eventually be returned to Earth for further analysis.

A second mission will fly to the planet and bring back the samples, perhaps in late 2020s in collaboration with the European Space Agency.

This concept art depicts the Mars 2020 rover landing on the Red Planet via NASA's Sky Crane system

This concept art depicts the Mars 2020 rover landing on the Red Planet via NASA’s Sky Crane system