Although many astronomers and even ordinary people dream of living on Mars, it needs to be said that the cosmic object is only the second smallest planet in our Solar System after Mercury. Mars is also about half the size of Earth, but even so, it remains the best possible destination that we might have in the far future.
NASA’s Perseverance rover has been exploring Martian soil since early 2021 and will continue likewise for plenty of time. It’s now focusing on Belva, meaning a crater that exists on another crater on Mars. Belva is also 1km wide, which practically means that it’s indeed worth exploring as much as possible.
New view: I’m getting a peek into Belva, a crater within a crater. It’s ~0.6 miles (1 km) wide, and sits on top of this fan of sediments that a river carried into the much bigger Jezero Crater long ago. A few mysteries to explore here before I roll on: https://t.co/jAJIFN5wUU pic.twitter.com/U9ob0merdP
— NASA's Perseverance Mars Rover (@NASAPersevere) April 20, 2023
Katie Stack Morgan, who is a deputy project scientist of Perseverance, explained in a statement:
Mars rover missions usually end up exploring bedrock in small, flat exposures in the immediate workspace of the rover.
That’s why our science team was so keen to image and study Belva. Impact craters can offer grand views and vertical cuts that provide important clues to the origin of these rocks with a perspective and at a scale that we don’t usually experience.
Mars has a huge number of craters scattered across its surface. Astronomers even estimate that there are hundreds of thousands or even millions of craters on the Red Planet. Impact events are primarily what caused the huge number of craters on Mars.
Surely landing the first humans on Mars requires a lot more than the space agencies getting their ducks in a row. It’s a possible project that requires a lot of prior knowledge, as nobody can say for sure how the human body can react to such a journey.