American Space Agency NASA’s Perseverance rover has gathered some of the most crucial samples during an investigation of an old river delta in its effort to discover signs of life on Mars. The presence of organic matter in some of the most recent samples suggests that Jezero Crater, which most likely previously housed a lake and the delta that drained into it, had potentially habitable surroundings 3.5 billion years ago, according to a report in CNN.
NASA’s second rover, Perseverance, successfully landed on Mars in February 2021 after being launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, in July 2020. The rover has been operating on the red planet for 18 months and part of its mission is to search for evidence of past microbial life, the outlet further said.
Ken Farley, a Perseverance project scientist at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, said, “The rocks that we have been investigating on the delta have the highest concentration of organic matter that we have yet found on the mission.”
According to CNN, rock samples that may have maintained the distinctive bio-signatures are being collected by Perseverance. As of now, there are 12 rock samples on the rover.
The samples collected will eventually be returned back to Earth via a series of missions in the 2030s.
According to Mr Farley, Perseverance has spent more than 550 Sols, or Martian days, discovering that the crater floor’s past is more complicated than first thought.
The scientific team currently thinks that before the crater held a lake bed, there was some intense volcanic activity, maybe even a lava lake, based on the discoveries of inventive rock created by volcanic action.