You have probably heard of the universe''s space junk problem. Now, it appears we are even polluting other planets.
On Monday, NASA''s Perseverance rover took a rare photo of a shiny silver object on Mars''s floor and beamed it back to Earth for all to see.
Spotting something unexpected
"My team has discovered something unexpected," they said. On Wednesday, they said, "It''s a piece of a thermal blanket they think might have originated from my descent stage and the rocket-powered jet pack that set me down on the landing day in 2021."
It''s a piece of a thermal blanket they believe may have been from my descent stage, the rocket-powered jet pack that set me down on landing day back in 2021. pic.twitter.com/O4rIaEABLu
"That shiny part 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 [1.2 miles] away. Did this piece land here after that, or was it blown here by the wind?" they added in another post.
A strange deja vu
NASA did not have an answer for how the piece of debris got to its current location, but it is not the first time junk has landed on Mars since Perseverance received aerial imagery. In April, Mars'' chopper Ingenuity, who was a member of Mars during Perseverance, took aerial photographs of the descent shell and parachute.
This spacecraft debris demonstrates that human influence is indeed present on the Red Planet, and that we should proceed with caution when exploring other planets. The debris is far too small to have any effect on the planet, but as more and more missions venture to Mars, the issue of space junk may become bigger.
This brings us to the question: How can NASA engineers and other space enthusiasts imagine missions that do not pollute their environment at all? Is this a possibility or simply a dream?
On February 18, 2021, the Mars Perseverance rover completed a year anniversary on the Red Planet. The spacecraft carrying NASA''s $2.7 billionrobotic inventor named Perseverance placed the rover in the same direction as the one on the planet. The event marked NASA''s most enticing and thorough effort to investigate if there was ever life on the planet.