Quotes from the news wire:
The delta, with its diverse sedimentary rocks, contrasts beautifully with the igneous rocks -- formed from crystallization of magma -- discovered on the crater floor, this juxtaposition provides us with a rich understanding of the geologic history after the crater formed and a diverse sample suite. For example, we found a sandstone that carries grains and rock fragments created far from Jezero Crater.
In the distant past, the sand, mud, and salts that now make up the Wildcat Ridge sample were deposited under conditions where life could potentially have thrived, the fact the organic matter was found in such a sedimentary rock -- known for preserving fossils of ancient life here on Earth -- is important. However, as capable as our instruments aboard Perseverance are, further conclusions regarding what is contained in the Wildcat Ridge sample will have to wait until it's returned to Earth for in-depth study as part of the agency's Mars Sample Return campaign.
A good geology student will tell you that such a texture indicates the rock formed when crystals grew and settled in a slowly cooling magma -- for example a thick lava flow, lava lake, or magma chamber, the rock was then altered by water several times, making it a treasure trove that will allow future scientists to date events in Jezero Crater, better understand the period in which water was more common on Jezero Crater surface, and reveal the early history of the planet. Mars Sample Return is going to have great stuff to choose from.
Not every sample Perseverance is collecting will be done in the quest for ancient life, and we don't expect this first sample to provide definitive proof one way or the other, while the rocks located in this geologic unit are not great time capsules for organics, we believe they have been around since the formation of Jezero Crater and incredibly valuable to fill gaps in our geologic understanding of this region -- things we'll desperately need to know if we find life once existed on Mars.
These rocks are likely to be mudstones, once mud at the bottom of the lake, and these are very important for our investigation because this is the kind of environment that we expect to be most habitable by organisms that might have existed on Mars billions of years ago, as well as having the capability to preserve bio signatures over the billions of years since.
[It's] very interesting for us in the science side to be able to participate in this demonstration of the operational capability of a helicopter, of course, we recognize that the ability to both scout rover traverse directions, making sure that there are pathways that are safe and efficient to get us to where we want to goand the ability to fly the helicopter out into terrain that the rover cannot possibly traverse to bring back scientific data -- this is extremely important for future missions that could combine a rover with a reconnaissance helicopter.
Found on FOX News 2 years ago
Perseverance's sophisticated science instruments will not only help in the hunt for fossilized microbial life, but also expand our knowledge of Martian geology and its past, present, and future, our science team has been busy planning how best to work with what we anticipate will be a firehose of cutting-edge data. That's the kind of' problem' we are looking forward to.
The best place to look for life is a place where you think life could have existed, the current surface of Mars is too cold and too dry for any life we know about to exist. Billions of years ago, it was much warmer with water on the surface. Rocks deposited at that time were in habitable environments and they record them.
Found on CNN 3 years ago
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