There Mission Mars 2020 suffered a setback with NASA Ingenuity's cessation of flight operations (although it far exceeded engineers' expectations). However, it must be remembered that the main part of this mission consists of the Red Planet NASA Endurance. The rover It traveled 24.7 km for 1051 Martian sols during the mission. There is still a lot to do and a lot to discover, although more interesting news may have arrived thanks to a study published in the last few days.
Especially with i Data collected by RIMFAX tool (Radar Imager for Mars' Subsurface Experiment) was able to determine that the Jezero crater was most likely in the Noachian period lake with water that, thanks to a nearby river, filled the cavity created by the meteorite impact. This hypothesis was already known in recent years and that is why Jezero (which means “Lake” The location was chosen as the landing site for the Mars rover in February 2021. However, instrumental confirmation was essential to reconstruct the evolution of Mars and the changes that occurred over billions of years.
NASA Perseverance: Jezero Crater was a lake, new confirmations
Nello titled study Ground radar observations of the contact between the western delta and the crater floor of Jezero Crater on Mars Data from the RIMFAX tool what's on board NASA Endurance to reconstruct how the underground of the Jezero craterabout 45 km wide.
Thanks to the radar it was possible to analyze how the terrain on which the rover has moved since landfall and consists of several geological layers. The superficial part would consist of sedimentary layers typical of a lake, while deeper down the base of Jezero Crater would be hidden.
David Paige (Professor at the University of California, Los Angeles) said “From orbit we can see a range of different deposits, but we cannot say for sure whether what we see is their original state or whether we are seeing the conclusion of a long geological history. To tell how these things came about, we have to look beneath the surface.”. Paige He added that too “The changes we see preserved in the rocks are caused by large-scale changes in the Martian environment. It's great to see so much evidence of change in such a small geographical area, allowing us to expand our findings to the scale of the whole crater.”.
The researchers hypothesized that, according to RIMFAFXAfter the formation of the crater and some initial erosion due to the elements, it subsequently filled with water and formed a large lake with sediment at the bottom. Subsequently, the lake began to dry out, and the river that fed it formed a clear delta (the area in which it is now located). NASA Endurance). Over millions of years, with the complete disappearance of water, the soil was once again exposed to the elements and the geological structures we see on the surface today emerged.
The abilities of Radar imager for the Mars subsurface experiment They enable data collection every 10 cm and at a depth of up to 20 meters. This makes it possible to overcome several layers of rock to get to the bottom of the original crater. The mass of the instrument is about 3 kg, it absorbs 5 W to 10 W and the frequencies used range from 150 MHz to 1200 MHz.
The presence of large amounts of liquid water At Marswhich can also be assumed thanks to this information collected NASA Endurance (as well as from other studies and data collected by other missions) would suggest an environment suitable for the development of microbial life. However, thanks to the analyses, there are currently no findings of this type Mars rover in recent months and the possibility of analyzing the samples from the Mars Sample Return mission, we will be able to confirm this (or not) in the future. Mars There was actually life.