Mars rovers often come across this heat shield and spring-like debris. NASA/JPL-Caltech
People have explored the surface of Mars for years over 50 years. according to United Nations Office for Space Affairscountries sent 18 Artifacts to Mars Over 14 individual missions. Many of these missions are still underway, but decades of Mars exploration have left humankind with much debris on the Martian surface.
I doctor student Researching ways to track Mars and lunar rovers. In mid-August 2022, NASA confirmed that the Mars rover Perseverance had found some trash dumped during its landing. This isn’t the first time scientists have found garbage on Mars. Because there are a lot of them.
Where does the debris come from?
Mars debris comes from three main sources: discarded hardware, unused spacecraft, and crashed spacecraft.
All missions to the surface of Mars include module The one that protects the spaceship. This module contains a heat shield as the spacecraft passes through the planet’s atmosphere, as well as a parachute and landing hardware for a soft landing.
The craft discards module debris as it descends, and these debris can land in various locations on the planet’s surface. There may be a lower heat shield in one location and a parachute in another. When this debris hits the ground, it can break into smaller pieces, such as: Occurred during the landing of the 2021 Perseverance roverThese tiny pieces can be blown away by Martian winds.
Over the years, small pieces of wind-blown debris have been found. net material Recently discovered. Earlier this year on his June 13, 2022 Persevier Lance rover, 1.25 miles (2 km) from where the rover landed, he found a large, shiny rock wedged between some rocks. I found a thermal blanket.both 2012 curiosity When Chance of 2005 We also came across debris from the landing vehicle.
dead and crashed spaceship
of Nine inactive spacecraft on the surface of Mars Configure the following types of shards: These aircraft are the Mars 3 Lander, Mars 6 Lander, Viking 1 Lander, Viking 2 Lander, Sojourner Rover, Previously lost beagle 2 lander, the Phoenix lander, the Spirit rover, and the recently deceased spacecraft, the Opportunity rover. Mostly intact, these might be better regarded as historical relics than garbage.
Attrition affects everything on the surface of Mars.part of Curiosity aluminum wheels broke Probably scattered along the rover’s orbit.Some Garbage Has a Purpose With Perseverance dropped a drill bit on the surface In July 2021, Replace with a new, pristine bit So that we can continue to collect samples.
Crashed spacecraft and their debris are another significant source of debris. At least two spacecraft crashed, and he lost contact with four more before or shortly after landing. Descending safely to the surface of Mars is the most difficult part of any Mars landing mission. it doesn’t always end well.
The combined mass of all spacecraft ever sent to Mars is about 22,000 pounds (9979 kilograms). Subtracting the weight of spacecraft currently operating on the surface – 6,306 pounds (2,860 kilograms) – leaves Mars with 15,694 pounds (7,119 kilograms) of human debris.
Why is garbage a problem?
The main concern scientists have about Mars debris today is the risk it poses to current and future missions. The Perseverance team is documenting every piece of debris it finds to see if it could contaminate the samples the rover is collecting. I also considered whether there is a possibility of being involved, concluded that the risk was low.
The real reason Martian remnants matter is their place in history. The spacecraft and its parts are an early milestone in human planetary exploration.
This article is reprinted from conversationis an independent, non-profit news site dedicated to sharing ideas from academic experts. It was written by: Kaguri Kirich, West Virginia UniversityThere are many types of conversations Attractive free newsletter.
Cagri Kilic does not work for, consult with, own shares in, or receive funding from any company or organization that benefits from this article.