Mars’ Perseverance rover discovers mysterious bundle of string
In the red sand of Mars, NASA‘s Perseverance rover captured an unusual image: a bundle of string.
A light-colored object that some people compared to spaghetti was photographed by the rover’s front left hazard avoidance camera on July 12.
Space agency officials confirmed that the object is a string left over from Perseverance’s landing.
Read also: NASA unveils images of stars, galaxies, and an exoplanet from the Webb space telescope.
A spokesperson for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, said the string could come from the rover or the descent stage, which uses rocket-powered jet packs to safely lower the rover to Mars‘ surface.
The spokesperson said Perseverance hadn’t been in the area where the string was found, so it’s likely the wind blew it there.
The rover is currently exploring an ancient delta called Jezero Crater in search of signs of microscopic life that may have lived on Mars billions of years ago. Perseverance landed in this crater on February 18, 2021.
Four days later, Perseverance returned to the string site but the object was gone.
The rover has stumbled upon material left over from its descent on Mars before.
An official tweet from Perseverance’s account shows a photo of a fragment of shiny foil taken by its cameras in mid-June. During descent, a thin material may have fallen off the rover’s thermal blanket, which regulates temperature.
NASA’s rover team is researching the new piece of debris and will release more details later this week.
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