But the most plausible explanation is actually below ground: according to some hypotheses, it could be a piece of rope connecting the rover to a parachute, which was used to slow its descent during landing. or used to descend in the last meters (a stage known as a “skycrane”). Perseverance has already come face-to-face several times with equipment that allowed it to land on Mars.
“This small piece of debris can be assumed to have been moved by the wind after landing,” a NASA spokesperson commented. And they’re still moving: A few days after the photo of the wires, the rover returned to the same spot, but they were gone.
The images were captured by the rover in the delta of an ancient river that scientists believe flowed into a great lake billions of years ago, and is diligently searching for traces of ancient life. Instead of a lake today: the Jezero Crater, where the rover landed in February 2021. It was in this crater that the parachute itself was photographed in April.
The small helicopter on board for the trip, called Intelligence, for its part captured even more impressive images in flight: not only the parachute, but also the back shield that contained the latter before its deployment.
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