The first rock samples from the Perseverance rover on Mars reveal a “sustained potentially habitable environment”

Published:

10 sep 2021 21:37 GMT

Within the samples, which are probably volcanic, salts have been discovered that may contain “tiny bubbles of ancient Martian water.”

The NASA ad This Friday, the first rock samples collected by the Perseverance rover on Mars reveal a “sustained potentially habitable environment.”

After one try failed in August, this September 6, Perseverance triumphed in its goal and got extract his first sample, which was given the name of Montdenier, from a rock identified as ‘Rochette’. Two days later, the rover obtained a second sample, Montagnac, from the same rock.

“It appears that our first rocks reveal a potentially habitable sustained environment,” said Ken Farley, a mission project scientist. “It is important that there has been water there for a long time,” he stressed.

La ‘Rochette’ is basalt in composition and can be the product of lava flows. In addition, within the samples salts have been discovered that may contain “tiny bubbles of ancient Martian water”.

The Perseverance, which is looking for signs of ancient microbial life on Mars, is tasked with collecting more than two dozen rock samples from the Red Planet, which will be brought to Earth during a joint mission of NASA and the European Space Agency, planned. by the 2030s.

“These samples have great value for future laboratory analysis on Earth, “said another mission program scientist, Mitch Schulte.” Someday, we may be able to determine the sequence and timing of the environmental conditions that the minerals in this rock represent. This will help answer the big picture science question about the history and stability of liquid water on Mars, “he stated.

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