NASA’s Perseverance Rover Just Spotted Something ‘Unexpected’ on Mars

While NASA’s Perseverance rover might not have been successful in finding signs of life on Mars yet, it has recently spotted signs of something else. The American space agency reported that the rover has spotted human trash on the Red Planet. “My team has spotted something unexpected,” NASA wrote in a Tweet while sharing pictures of the debris. The rover stumbled upon a piece of thermal blanket that NASA suspects must have come from the Perseverance’s descent stage. The shiny foil-like thermal blanket is what protects the rover from extreme temperatures that it experiences while landing.

In the pictures shared by NASA, the shiny litter can be seen stuck between rocks on the Red Planet. Sharing a close-up photo of the debris, NASA wrote that it was a surprise find in the region. The Perseverance rover landed on Mars in February last year and its decent stage landed facilitated that landing.

The descent stage is a rocket-powered jet pack and the piece of foil is believed to have come from it. However, the location of the finding is puzzling as the descent stage crashed 2 kms away from the spot. “Did this piece land here after that, or was it blown here by the wind?” wrote NASA.

NASA further shared other pictures where a team at its Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) is seen wrapping up the rover in the protective material.

NASA’s Perseverance rover was sent to Mars to look for ancient signs of life. It landed last year and has been since exploring the planet, collecting rocks, and sending back vital information. Earlier, NASA shared that the rover, which was sent alone, was now accompanied by a pet rock.

A rock from the planet got stuck in the rover’s front left wheel and popped up in pictures taken by camera mounted on the Perseverance. While being stuck, the rock hitchhiked for more than 8.5 kilometers and refused to move from its place.

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