Report talks about a threat to Mars exploration missions

Source: Sky News

Scientists began exploring Mars more than 50 years ago, with 18 man-made missions sent to Mars on 14 missions.

Many of these missions are still ongoing, but over the course of decades of Mars exploration, humanity has left behind many pieces of debris on the planet’s surface.

Where does debris come from?

Debris found on Mars comes from three main sources, according to the science website “sciencealert”, which reviewed the reasons for the presence of waste on the surface of Mars.

  • Every mission to the surface of Mars requires a protection unit equipped with a heat shield that protects the spacecraft, as well as a parachute and landing gear. During the landing process, the spacecraft loses pieces of that unit, and when these pieces hit the planet’s land, they break into small pieces.
  • The nine inactive spacecraft on Mars make up the next type of debris.
  • Crashed spacecraft and pieces are another important source of junk on Mars, where at least two spacecraft crashed, and four others lost contact before or just after landing.

Getting down safely to the planet’s surface is the hardest part of any Mars landing mission, and it doesn’t always end well.

The main concern for scientists about trash on Mars today is the risks it poses to current and future missions.

Follow-up teams are documenting the remains of debris they found and examining them to see if any of them could contaminate samples collected by Mars exploration missions.

And in June, NASA’s Perseverance rover surprised scientists with a strange image of a shiny object sandwiched between two rocks, captured on the surface of Mars.

And speculation was raised about the nature of this strange object, which appeared to be metallic, that the NASA team concluded that it was a piece of debris that the rover got rid of during its landing on Mars in February 2021.

In July, the same rover also spotted a strange tangled object on Mars, possibly the remains of a component used in the landing of the robotic rover on Mars in February 2021.


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