NASA has been searching for signs of alien life on Mars for many years, and while they have not yet found any conclusive evidence, the possibility of discovering life on the Red Planet remains a topic of intense interest and research.
There are several factors that suggest Mars may have once been habitable, including the presence of water, which is a key ingredient for life as we know it. NASA’s Curiosity rover has also discovered organic molecules on Mars, which are the building blocks of life.
Perseverance collects the 19th sample of Martian material
NASA’s Perseverance Rover has collected the 19th sample of Martian material, according to Daily Mail. The achievement marks the first sample to be picked up from the top of the river delta in the Jezero Crater.
The samples will be sent to Earth by 2033 as part of the overall “Mars Sample Return campaign” by NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA), and will be studied for signs of life.
Perseverance will store the 19 samples in its belly until a lander arrives on Mars in the future, and they will be delivered to the lander for transport to Earth.
Ken Farley, the project scientist of Perseverance in Caltech, stated:
Perseverance’s mobility has allowed us to collect igneous samples from the relatively flat crater floor during the first campaign, and then travel to the base of the crater’s delta, where we found fine-grained sedimentary rocks deposited in a dried lakebed.
Now we are sampling from a geologic location where we find coarse-grained sedimentary rocks deposited in a river.
While the chances of discovering alien life on Mars are uncertain, the ongoing exploration and research are advancing our understanding of the potential for life beyond Earth and expanding the boundaries of human knowledge.
The Jezero Crater is a large impact crater on Mars, located in the western edge of Isidis Planitia. It is thought to have once been a lake, and has since become a focus of interest for astrobiologists searching for evidence of past life on Mars.