Recently, the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Perseverance rover has discovered evidence of organic compounds in a Martian crater.
GS III: Science and Technology
Dimensions of the Article:
- Key Findings
- Perseverance Rover
- Mars has a more complex organic geochemical cycle than previously believed, indicating the presence of multiple reservoirs of potential organic molecules on the planet.
- Water appears to have played a significant role in the diverse range of organic matter found on Mars.
- The Jezero Crater, where the rover landed, shows a high potential for past habitability due to its variety of minerals, including carbonates, clays, and sulphates.
- The minerals present in the Jezero Crater could have preserved organic compounds and potentially traces of prehistoric life.
- The Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman and Luminescence for Organics and Chemicals (SHERLOC) instrument was used to map the distribution of organic molecules and minerals on rock surfaces.
- The Perseverance rover is a robotic explorer sent to Mars as part of NASA’s Mars 2020 Mission.
- Its main objective is to search for signs of ancient life and collect samples of rock and regolith for potential return to Earth.
- The rover will collect samples, seal them in tubes, and leave them on Mars’ surface for future retrieval.
- It was launched on July 30, 2020, from Cape Canaveral, Florida.
- The rover successfully landed on the surface of Mars’ Jezero Crater on February 18, 2021.
- It is approximately the size of a car and weighs about 1,025 kilograms with all instruments onboard.
- The rover is powered by a Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (MMRTG), which converts heat from the radioactive decay of plutonium into electricity.
-Source: Indian Express