The “diligence” rover is exploring Mars for NASA – shortly after it arrived it answered an important question.
Pasadena / Frankfurt – NASA rover “diligence” faces major missions on Mars. Among other things, he must search for signs of previous microbial life on the Red Planet and explore the geography and pre-climate of Mars. According to NASA, the rover has already answered an important question with the first images sent to Earth. Records and an accompanying study were published In the journal Science.
“This is a key observation that once confirmed that there was a lake and river delta in the Jesero gorge,” the study’s lead author, scientist Nicholas Mangold, said in a NASA message. Today the Xero gorge, in which “diligence” landed in February 2021, dried the bone. But once there was water, experts concluded from the records of Mars. The Jesero gorge is a lake fed by a small river 3.7 billion years ago.
NASA rover reveals: The Jessero crater on Mars was once a river-linked lake
Experts also point out that there must have been great flooding in the lake. According to researchers working on Mangold’s study, the floodwaters carried large rocks several kilometers across the river and deposited them in the lake where they still exist today.
NASA rover “Perseverance”: Its launch was not accidental
It is no coincidence that “perseverance” caught the bull’s eye when the bull arrived. The landing site in the Xero gorge was chosen by NASA experts because it was suspected that water had once flown there. Records from Mars’ orbit showed in advance that the Jesero gorge looked like a dry lake connected to a river delta. “The rover has solved one of the biggest puzzles without going anywhere,” says delighted astronomer Benjamin Weiss. “Until we get there, it’s always a question: was the ditch an lake at one time?”
Mars experts once had water on the surface of the Red Planet, but it dried up about 3.5 billion years ago. At that time, according to current research, Mars was losing its magnetic field and gradually losing its atmosphere. Another theory states that Mars was too small to hold water permanently.
NASA Project: The rover “diligently” is to visit the former river delta
Meanwhile, the “diligence” rover covers about 2.6 kilometers of the Zero gorge, and if all goes as planned, it will also see rocks photographed from a distance to solve the mystery of the lake. The rover is scheduled to travel to the former River Delta to take soil samples there. Experts believe there may be traces of earlier life in the sedimentary waters of the former lake. Therefore, “diligence” should collect such samples as well. “We now have the opportunity to search for fossils,” explains Thanja Bosak from MIT.
Diligently collecting soil samples will be stored by a rover on the surface of Mars.
NASA rover “diligently” to send soil samples from Mars to Earth
Until then, however, research will have to rely on “diligence” and the old NASA rover “Curiosity”, which is conducting research in a different area on Mars. “A good understanding of the Xero gorge is important for understanding the changing waters in the region,” diligent scientist Sanjeev Gupta said in a NASA release. “It can give valuable insights into why the whole planet has dried up.”
All important news from astronomy and space travel straight to your inbox
Weiss also has another hope: he explains that the abyss can be seen in the rock “as it moves from an earth-like, habitable environment to this ruined barren land”. “These dilapidated beds may be records of this change. We have never seen them anywhere else on Mars.” (Tab)
“Avid writer. Subtly charming alcohol fanatic. Total twitter junkie. Coffee enthusiast. Proud gamer. Web aficionado. Music advocate. Zombie lover. Reader.”