What Happens if Perseverance Finds Life on Mars?

It all happened so fast! On Thursday, February 18th, NASA’s Perseverance rover set landed in the Jezero crater on Mars and almost immediately transmitted its first image of the Martian. This was followed by photos from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and footage taken by the rover’s Entry, Descent, and Landing (EDL). Then there was the panoramic video, a sound recording, and deployed its Ingenuity helicopter, all in the space of a week!

But that’s nothing compared to what happened next. Shortly after the rover started drilling into the floor of the Jezero crater, Perseverance found evidence of fossilized bacteria! The search for life on Mars finally struck paydirt! Okay, that didn’t happen… Not yet, anyway. But what if it does? After all, one of Perseverance‘s main objectives is to search for evidence of past life on Mars. What will be the impact if and when it finds it?

Continue reading “What Happens if Perseverance Finds Life on Mars?”

Planetary Scientists Have Created a Map of Mars’ Entire Ancient River Systems

Navigating and mapping rivers has long been a central component in human exploration.  Whether it was Powell exploring the Colorado’s canyons or Pizarro using the Amazon to try to find El Dorado, rivers, and our exploration of them, have been extremely important.  Now, scientists have mapped out an entirely new, unique river basin.  This one happens to be on an entirely different planet, and dried up billions of years ago.

Continue reading “Planetary Scientists Have Created a Map of Mars’ Entire Ancient River Systems”

NASA’s Perseverance Rover is Going to Jezero Crater, Which is Looking Better and Better as a Place to Search for Evidence of Past Life on Mars

In 2018, NASA decided that the landing site for its Mars 2020 Perseverance rover would be the Jezero Crater. At the time, NASA said the Jezero Crater was one of the “oldest and most scientifically interesting landscapes Mars has to offer.” That assessment hasn’t changed; in fact it’s gotten stronger.

A new research paper says that the Jezero Crater was formed over time periods long enough to promote both habitability, and the preservation of evidence.

Continue reading “NASA’s Perseverance Rover is Going to Jezero Crater, Which is Looking Better and Better as a Place to Search for Evidence of Past Life on Mars”