NASA’s Martian Rover Perseverance reached a new milestone by detecting the presence of organic molecules inside one of Jezero Crater area rocks, the leading space agency announced on Thursday.
The current collected samples round of the rover was the second at Jezero Crater, the area which NASA described as the earthly rivers’ deltas.
Perseverance project scientist Ken Farley of Caltech in Pasadena, California explained the importance of the area: “The delta, with its diverse sedimentary rocks, contrasts beautifully with the igneous rocks – formed from crystallization of magma – discovered on the crater floor.”
“This juxtaposition provides us with a rich understanding of the geologic history after the crater formed and a diverse sample suite. For example, we found a sandstone that carries grains and rock fragments created far from Jezero Crater – and a mudstone that includes intriguing organic compounds,” he expressed.
They believe that this region would have signs for a microbial life.
Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA’s associate administrator for science in Washington said: “We picked the Jezero Crater for Perseverance to explore because we thought it had the best chance of providing scientifically excellent samples – and now we know we sent the rover to the right location.”
He added: “These first two science campaigns have yielded an amazing diversity of samples to bring back to Earth by the Mars Sample Return campaign.”