Mars had liquid water in the past: first analysis of rock samples taken by Perseverance reinforces the theory
It’s something we’ve seen in more and more discoveries made on Mars: the planet had liquid water at some point Of your past. Now NASA reinforces this idea, after analyzing in-situ Martian rock samples Perseverance collected a few days ago.
In a press conference NASA has revealed more details about the first successful collection of rock samples taken by the Perseverance rover. Samples in the plural, because contrary to what we thought, Perseverance collected two samples from the rock by drilling two holes in it.. NASA indicated that there was interest in the rock, so they decided to drill it twice.
Remnants of salts in the rock
Jezero, the area where Perseverance is exploring the planet, is a volcanic place that in the past is believed to have stored water in a lake in the area. Therefore, if there are remains of life on Mars, they are more likely to be found somewhere where there was liquid water like this crater in Jezero.
At the moment Perseverance has not found organic remains, but it has clues that lead to it. As announced by NASA, the spectral analysis of the samples with the tools on board the Perseverance have identified calcium, sulfur and small traces of salt in the rock. “The presence of salts indicates that the rock was subject to water. The water seeped through the rock and, as it filtered and evaporated later, it left behind this salty residue. “, Indicated a person in charge of the NASA.
The reason NASA insists on collecting samples from the surface of Mars is because of the geological history behind it. Since there is no tectonic activity on the planet, rock from billions of years ago is practically preserved on the surface. Therefore, it allows us to understand and analyze the history of the planet to understand what conditions were like on it billions of years ago.
The next step will be better analyze those samples here on Earth. To do this, as we have already seen, NASA has a long-term plan to bring the samples in the next decade. A plan that involves two more missions to Mars, one to launch them into orbit and the other to transport them to Earth.
Via | POT