Photo: Disclosure / NASA
NASA announced this Thursday (15) that the rover Perseverance has collected important samples to determine if there was life on Mars. According to the aerospace agency, the material contains potential biosignatures and will need to be analyzed on Earth.
“I think we can say that they will be, and that they already are, the most precious rock samples ever collected”said David Shuster, a scientist working on the samples.
NASA explained that two cuts were made by drilling into a rock named “Wildcat ridge”which was located in a delta formed about 3.5 billion years ago at the crossroads of a river and an ancient lake.
According to David Shuster, the sedimentary rock appears to have formed at the time the lake water evaporatedconserving the possible biosignatures.
Analyzed by a Perseverance instrument, the rock revealed the presence of organic compoundsthe highest amount detected since the mission began a year and a half ago.
“We still don’t know the meaning of these discoveries, but these rocks are exactly what we’re looking for”said Ken Farley, responsible for the scientific part of the mission.
NASA plans to bring the samples back to Earth for analysis via another mission before 2033.