Perseverance discovers a piece of aluminum among the rocks

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Every year we generate more than 2,100 tons of urban solid waste on our planet. As if this were not enough, also we are polluting space. We have left so much debris in orbit that the pieces floating above our heads have become an intractable problem. And there is more. We also leave our “footprint” on the Moon and on Mars.

Since landing last year, the Perseverance rover has been exploring the Red Planet for traces of past life and collecting rock samples. However, she has now found a peculiar shiny object with visible dots on its surface. Clearly it is not a natural element of the Martian landscape, but of part of one of the ships we have sent.

A piece of thermal blanket on Mars

According to the official Perseverance Twitter account, the mysterious object is a piece of thermal blanket which is believed to have come from the spacecraft’s descent stage itself, the rocket-powered module that helped get the rover to the correct landing spot in February 2021.

Perseverance Aluminum 2

It is a layer of aluminum that is used to control extreme landing temperatures. But to everyone’s surprise, the discovery has occurred two kilometers away from where the descent stage was abandoned. “Did this piece land here after that or was it blown away by the wind?” asks the US space agency.

Although everything seems to indicate that it is part of Perseverance’s thermal blanket, NASA has decided to leave the question open. However, she has taken the opportunity to introduce the team that is responsible for “dressing” the ships. “Think of them as spaceship dressmakers. They work with sewing machines and other tools to put these unique materials together,” she says.

It should be noted that this is not the only piece of space junk on Mars from the Perseverance mission. In April, the small Ingenuity helicopter captured images of parts of the components that helped it land on the Martian surface. It was a parachute and a cone-shaped piece.

The Chinese rover on Mars has completed its main mission of 90 days on the planet: what has it achieved and what will be next

Of course, NASA is not the only space agency with a presence on Mars, and therefore it is not the only one leaving space debris there. Over the last few years, several missions have been developed, but only the missing one Soviet Union, China and the United States They have managed to land ships.

In Xataka | Ingenuity faces the terrifying winter of Mars: every day could be the last

Every year we generate more than 2,100 tons of urban solid waste on our planet. As if this were not…

Every year we generate more than 2,100 tons of urban solid waste on our planet. As if this were not…

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