NASA’s Perseverance Mars Rover has a wonderful online personality, but Wednesday the precocious planet wanderer may have told on itself for leaving some litter on Mars.
The rover was launched from Earth on July 30, 2020 and made its landing on Mars on February 18, 2021. On the way down, the thermal blankets that help protect sensitive components were shed.
Often times when that happens, they burn up in inhospitable atmospheres, or disappear forever. But while out on its adventures to find Matt Damon, Perseverance found some of that space trash stuck on some rocks.
“My team has spotted something unexpected: It’s a piece of a thermal blanket that they think may have come from my descent stage, the rocket-powered jet pack that set me down on landing day back in 2021.”
Twitter users were quick to point out that humans weren’t content to litter just here on Earth, we went ahead and did it outside of our planet as well.
Perseverance Mars Rover said it’s not too sure how the blanket litter ended up where it did on the planet.
“That shiny bit of foil is part of a thermal blanket – a material used to control temperatures. It’s a surprise finding this here: My descent stage crashed about 2 km away. Did this piece land here after that, or was it blown here by the wind?”
Here’s a look at the findings of the blanket on Mars, and some other fun things Perseverance has discovered during its adventures.