NASA believes it is just a part of a thermal blanket network;
The object would have reached Mars in a previous mission;
NASA’s hardware team suspects the object came from the Perseverance landing on Mars.
Scientists were baffled by the stringy-looking material, which was captured by the Perseverance rover last month. NASA experts have already explained what it likely is. And anyone hoping it could be evidence of aliens, prepare to be disappointed.
The object in question is just a piece of the net of a thermal blanket. Obviously, Mars isn’t the kind of place with random bits of network scattered around, so it would have gotten there from a previous mission. Interestingly, NASA’s hardware team suspects it to be from the Perseverance landing on the Red Planet last February.
In theory, the rover glimpsed its own thermal blanket stuck to the surface of a dinosaur-shaped rock – the inexplicable part is that the rover first landed on Mars more than a kilometer away.
“This particular piece of net appears to have undergone significant unraveling/shredding, suggesting it was subjected to forces,” NASA said.
Experts believe it is Dacron net, a type of polyester fiber. This is often found in thermal blankets, to help prevent the equipment from heating up.
Perseverance is busy collecting a variety of precious specimens from Jezero Crater, a fascinating region of the Red Planet that contains what is believed to be an ancient river delta. Scientists hope that rocky materials recovered from the crater will provide clues as to whether Mars once harbored microbial life.
NASA is sticking to the line that the samples should be back to Earth by 2033, but that return trip — which in itself caused a good deal of the drama — is still logistically far off. In the meantime, the rover will continue to communicate with Earth with photos.