String theory: NASA Mars rover discovers mystery object
A twisted object found by NASA's Mars Perseverance rover has space observers wondering aloud about the standard of Italian cuisine on the Red Planet.
The most likely answer, though, is more mundane: it's most likely the remains of a part that was used to lower the robotic explorer to the surface of Mars in February 2021.
According to a spokeswoman for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, "We have been discussing where it's from,
but there has been speculation that it's a piece of cord from the parachute or from the landing system that lowers the rover to the ground."
Keep in mind that neither he nor anybody else had proof that it was one or the other.
The debris bundle was initially seen by the rover's front left hazard avoidance camera on July 12.
However, when Perseverance went back to the same location four days later, it had vanished.
Like a fragment of a thermal blanket that may have come from the rocket-powered landing mechanism that was discovered last month, it was presumably swept away by the wind.
The growing amount of rubbish that Perseverance has left behind is thought to be a minimal price to pay
given the rover's admirable scientific objectives of looking for biosignatures of prehistoric microbial life forms.
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