World
Logo
 

Mars rocks collected by rover boost case for ancient life

AFP
Filed on September 11, 2021 | Last updated on September 12, 2021 at 12.24 am
Reuters

The six-wheeled robot collected its first sample, dubbed "Montdenier" on September 6, and its second, "Montagnac" from the same rock on September 8.

Nasa’s Perseverance Mars rover has now collected two rock samples, with signs that they were in contact with water for a long period of time boosting the case for ancient life on the Red Planet.

“It looks like our first rocks reveal a potentially habitable sustained environment,” said Ken Farley, project scientist for the mission, in a statement on Friday. “It’s a big deal that the water was there for a long time.”

The six-wheeled robot collected its first sample, dubbed “Montdenier” on September 6, and its second, “Montagnac” from the same rock on September 8.

Both samples, slightly wider than a pencil in diameter and about six centimetres long, are now stored in sealed tubes in the rover’s interior.

A first attempt at collecting a sample in early August failed after the rock proved too crumbly to withstand Perseverance’s drill.

The rover has been operating in a region known as the Jezero Crater, just north of the equator and home to a lake 3.5 billion years ago, when conditions on Mars were much warmer and wetter than today. The rock that provided the first samples was found to be basaltic in composition and likely the product of lava flows. Volcanic rocks contain crystalline minerals that are helpful in radiometric dating.






ERROR: Macro /ads/dfp-ad-article-new is missing!
MORE FROM World
MORE FROM Khaleej Times
CurrentRequestUnmodified: /apps/pbcs.dll/article?avis=KT&date=20210918&category=ARTICLE&lopenr=210919177&Ref=AR&profile=1028 macro_action: article, macro_profile: ,1028,1000 macro_adspot:
 
 
 
 
 
KT App Download
khaleejtimes app

All new KT app
is available
for download:

khaleejtimes - android khaleejtimes - ios khaleejtimes - HUAWEI AppGallery