The Perseverance rover touched down at Mars’ Jezero Crater on February 18, 2021.Similar to its cousin, the Curiosity rover, Perseverance has since been exploring the area in search of signs of ancient (and potentially even contemporary) life.
This includes collecting samples for a future ESA/NASA sample-return mission that will store them in a cache and recover them.
These will be the first directly retrieved samples of Martian rock and soil to be examined in a lab on Earth, and it is anticipated that they will provide some tantalizing information about the red planet’s past.
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But given that the Perseverance rover is already returning some unexpected data to Earth, it seems we don’t need to wait for the sample-return mission.
Perseverance’s ground-penetrating radar discovered that the rock layers beneath the crater are curiously inclined, according to a recent study by a research team led by the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) and the University of Oslo.
These peculiar parts might be sedimentary deposits from an underground lake or lava flows that slowly cooled.
Svein-Erik Hamran, a professor of autonomous systems and sensor technologies at the University of Oslo (UiO), served as the team’s leader. He is also the principal investigator for the Radar Imager for Mars Subsurface eXperiment (RIMFAX), which is being carried out by the Perseverance rover.
Researchers from the University of Oregon, the University of California, the Planetary Science Institute (PSI), Vestfonna Geophysical, the Centro de Astrobiologa, the Norwegian Polar Institute, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and numerous other universities joined him. Recent publication of the study outlining their findings in Science Advances.