Mars rover mission is a part of NASA’s Mars Exploration Program!

Mars rover mission is a part of NASA’s Mars Exploration Program. It was launched in the year 2020. Since then, lots of investigations have been done on the surface of Mars. The primary purpose is to understand the climate, find out if life ever existed on Mars, understand the origin and evolution of the planet as a geological system, and prepare for human exploration. Mars has extinct volcanoes, canyons, polar ice caps, seasons and is one of the most explored planets in the solar system. NASA currently has two rovers, Perseverance and Curiosity, one lander InSight, and one helicopter Ingenuity exploring the surface of Mars.

According to NASA, Perseverance is designed to explore the crater Jezero on Mars as a part of NASA’s Mission 2020. Jet Propulsion Laboratory manufactured it and launched it on July 30, 2020. At the same time, Curiosity Rover is designed to explore the Gale Crater on the planet as a part of NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory Mission. It was launched on November 26, 2011.

The complete form of InSight is Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport mission is a robotic lander designed to study the planet’s deep interior. Lockheed Martin Space manufactured it. The mission launched on May 5, 2018. Ingenuity is a small robotic helicopter operating on the plant as a part of NASA’s Mission 2020. It completed the 1st powered, controlled flight on April 19, 2021.

Latest findings on Mars –

Thousands of massive volcanic irruption on the planet –

In the Arabia Terra region in northern Mars, scientists recently found evidence for thousands of such eruptions by studying the topography and mineral composition of a portion. These eruptions are the most violent volcanic explosions known, pouring water vapor, carbon dioxide, and sulfur dioxide into the air in large quantities; these explosions tore through the Martian surface over a 500-million-year period of about 4 billion years ago.

Each of the explorations had a significant climate impact. The gas released made the atmosphere thicker or blocked the Sun and made the atmosphere colder. According to NASA scientists, more research needs to be done on the impact of volcanoes on the climate.

To identify the minerals on the surface the images from MRO’s Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer were used by the research team. From hundreds to thousands of miles from the calderas looking in the walls of canyons and craters, they identified volcanic minerals turned to clay by water. Then by using images, the team made three-dimensional topographic maps of Arabia Terra. Over the topographic maps of the canyons and craters analyzed by laying the mineral data, the researchers could see that the layers of ash were very well preserved in the mineral-rich deposits. 

Perseverance Rover collects pieces of the planet’s history –

The 1st pair of rock samples were collected by the Perseverance Mars rover. Scientists are finding new details about the region. Montdenier the 1st sample was collected on September 6, and Montagnac the 2nd sample was collected on September 8 from the same rock. The analysis of the rock from where the 1st and 2nd samples were taken and the rover’s past sampling attempts, scientists can find out the timeline of the area’s past, marked by periods of persistent water and volcanic activity.

According to NASA scientists, the 1st rock reveals a potentially habitable sustained environment. It is a big deal that water was there for a long time. The rock that provided the mission’s 1st core samples is basaltic in composition and may produce lava flows. There is a presence of crystalline minerals in volcanic rocks. The volcanic origin of the rock would help scientists to find out when it originated.

Salt has been found in these rocks, which might have been formed when underground water might have flown through and the rock origin has been altered knobbly There was the lake that filled the cater long back. The lake was there for how long is uncertain. The rock that provided the core samples the alterations seen by the scientists suggest that groundwater was there for a long time.

The 1st Mars rock sample is collected

On September 6, the Perseverance rover completed the collection of the 1st sample of Martian rock. In an airtight sample tube, the core is now enclosed and can be used in the future. Shortly, many missions will happen that will collect the samples and bring them back to Earth for investigation. 

The 1st sampling-taking process began on Wednesday, September 1. At the end of the robotic arms, the rotary percussive drill was cored into Rochette (Mars Rock). After completing the core process, the arm maneuvered the corer, bit, and sample tube to image the Mastcam Z camera instrument. The cored rock’s presence in the tube after being confirmed by mission controllers, a command was sent that the mission was complete.

Curiosity Rover explores a changing landscape –

The images of knobby rocks and rounded hills were taken by the rover within the 96-mile-wide basin of planet Gale Crater as it climbs Mount Sharp, a 5-mile-tall mountain. On July 3, 2021, the Mast Camera of the rover highlight those features in a panorama captured. How the ancient environment within Gale Crater dried up over time, the mountain layers the rover is orbiting revealed. Across the planet, similar changes are seen. Studying about the region has been a long-term goal.

The rocks there will reveal how a wet planet changed into a dry climate and how long habitable environments persisted. On August 5, 2012, Curiosity landed to study how microbial life is supported by different Martian environments in the past when groundwater and lakes existed. With a drill on its robotic arm, the rover pulverizes rock samples, then sprinkles the powder into the rover’s chassis, in which chemicals and minerals are present are determined by pair of instruments.

The Deep Interior of Mars is revealed –

InSight lander has revealed deep interiors of Mars for the 1st time. It has confirmed that the planet center is molten. The crust was thinner than expected by the scientists. It has 2 or 3 sub-layers and goes as deep as 20 km if two sub-layers or 37 km if three sub-layers. There is a mental beneath that extends 1560 km below the surface. At the heart of the planet, there is the core which has a radius of 1830 km.

733 distinct marsquakes for the interior structure have been recorded by the Seismic Experiment (InSight’seismometer). About 35 of those are between magnitudes 3.0 and 4.0. The ultrasensitive seismometer enabled scientists from hundreds to thousands of miles away to hear seismic events. While traveling through different materials on Mars, seismic waves vary in speed and shape. Those variations in Mars will help to study the planet’s inner structure.

The planet heated up as it formed from the dust and larger clumps of meteoritic material orbiting the Sun. Over the 1st tens of millions of years, Mars separated into three distinct layers, the mental, crust, core and the process is called differentiation. The mission was to measure the depth, size, and structure of these three layers.

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