Mars is full of human junk. PHOTO / IST
Postdoctoral researcher in robotics at the University of West Virginia, Cagri Kilic analyzed the mass of all robotic vehicles and orbiters sent to Mars, regardless of the weight of the vehicles currently in operation.
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As written on the NASA social account on Monday (9/26/2022), the results of the analysis detected up to 7,118 kg of debris scattered on the planet Mars.
The debris, among other things, consisted of discarded hardware, sleeping spacecraft and those that fell to the planet’s surface, including the Soviet Union’s Mars 2 orbiter that crashed during landing in 1971.
Scientists fear the debris could contaminate samples collected by the Perseverance robotic vehicle on a mission to search for evidence of past life on Mars.
Much of that debris was inevitable as many pieces had to be removed to protect the spacecraft as it glided through the red planet’s atmosphere.
This includes the Perseverance vehicle launched by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) which had to endure seven minutes of stumbling upon landing in February 2021.
The robotic vehicle was found to have captured several images of the debris during its mission.
Last June, the NASA team detected light in image fragments sent by the Perseverance vehicle which were then routed for review.
A few weeks later, the Perseverance vehicle entered the Hogwallow Flats area and obtained a high resolution 360 degree panorama of the Mastcam-Z.
The image showing bright light is a reflection of the thermal blanket layer.
Material layer thidden in the corner of some rocks and seemed to reflect the light.