Status: 09/11/2021 9:56 a.m.
According to NASA, rock samples from the Mars rover “Perseverance” indicate that there was water on the planet for a long time. However, it will be years before scientists can analyze the samples.
The rock samples taken from the Red Planet by the Mars rover “Perseverance” indicate, according to initial findings, contact with water. This was announced by the US space agency NASA. “It looks like our first stones reveal a potentially habitable, permanent environment,” explained the scientist in charge, Ken Farley. It is a “big deal” that there has been water on the planet for a “long time”.
The rover had taken a total of two rock samples. According to the information, one is probably basalt, which would make it of volcanic origin. In addition, the presence of salts in the samples is an indicator of favorable conditions for the possible detection of traces of early life.
Samples should not be collected for a few years
However, it will be years before the scientists can analyze the samples themselves: NASA is not planning a joint mission with the European Space Agency (ESA) to bring the samples back to Earth until the 2030s. There they are to be examined for their chemical and mineral composition in order to find out whether the rock is really of volcanic origin or whether it is sedimentary rock.
The approximately off-road vehicle-sized rover “Perseverance” landed in the Jezero crater on Mars in February. Scientists suspect that there was a deep lake there around 3.5 billion years ago, which emptied and refilled several times over time and provided suitable conditions for organic life. The development and construction of the approximately 2.5 billion dollar (about 2.2 billion euros) rover had taken eight years.