What is this strange object depicted on Mars? NASA’s spacecraft found a ball of tangled wires last week, baffling experts.
“There are a lot of doubts,” a NASA spokesperson told AFP.
But the most plausible explanation is actually quite simple: According to some hypotheses, it could have been the pieces of the rope connecting the rover to the parachute that served to slow its descent as it descended. Or to the one he used to descend during the last meters (a stage called “Sky Crane”).
Perseverance has already found itself face to face several times with the equipment that allowed it to land on Mars.
In June, another photo showed what at first glance appeared to be a piece of aluminum foil, sandwiched between two red stones. It was actually a piece of thermal insulation from the descent stage (used in the “Sky Crane”).
“It can be assumed that these small pieces of debris were moved by the wind after landing,” a NASA spokesperson commented.
And they may still be moving: a few days after the wires picture was taken, the rover is back in the same place, but it’s gone.
These images were taken by the rover in an ancient river delta, which scientists believe flowed into a huge lake billions of years ago, and where perseverance searches for traces of ancient life.
Instead of a lake today: Jezero Crater, where the rover landed in February 2021.
It was in this hole that he was able to photograph the same parachute in April.
The small helicopter on board the flight, called Ingenuity, for its part captured even more impressive photos in flight: not only the parachute, but also the rear shield that contained the latter before its deployment.
The shield seemed to have been severely damaged by the impact it received when hitting the ground after he had finished his mission.
NASA commented at the time that decoding these images could “help enable safer landings in the future.”