Perseverance Rover Confirms Existence of an Ancient Lake on Mars


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Perseverance rover on Mars collecting data

On February 18, 2021, NASA successfully landed the Perseverance rover on Mars. Since then, it has collected thousands of little pieces of information that helped scientists make many discoveries that will then lead to so many more discoveries in the future. One of these ground-breaking discoveries was evidence of a lake on Mars.

Scientists named the landing site of Perseverance “Jezero Crater.” Scientists believe it was once flooded, and there was much to be learned from studying the crater and possibly, ancient lake. Investigators found traces of minerals that had been in contact with the water that might have once existed on the red planet.

Once it landed at the crater, before even moving anywhere, the first thing the Perseverance rover did was take a series of pictures. These photos were then sent back to Earth, anywhere from a five to twenty-day journey, where researchers at NASA studied them in-depth. Before long, their suspicions were confirmed about Mars hosting a complex system of lakes, rivers, and even floods. By looking closely at rocks and other geological compounds, researchers and scientists could eventually figure out that the rocks had once been in contact with water for prolonged periods of time, long ago.

Eventually, hopefully by 2031, a definite long way off, NASA hopes to navigate Perseverance, home, back to Earth. The journey will take between eight and nine months. Then, researchers will study samples and pictures to learn more about the possibility of life on Mars. Hopefully, these new discoveries will lead to more technological advancements and maybe even the possibility of making martians out of humans.

So, what does the late existence of water on Mars mean for humans on Earth? Since all living beings, at least those scientists know of, need water to survive, this means that the prospect of alien life is not completely unbelievable. Well, maybe not that the gray-eyed, green-skinned, tall aliens playing on TV used to have UFOs flying around, but tiny microbial martians that lived quiet lives in the few cool pockets of Mars.

But why did scientists spend over 2.5 billion dollars on a car-sized rover? Scientists and researchers at NASA hope to discover more about how the Martian crust was created and eventually modified over time. Scientists believe that if they can evaluate and analyze each layer of the crust, they can gain important details as to how Mars developed geologically and why the climate is what it is now.