One Year of Perseverance on Mars


Nishtha Patel, Contributor

It took some perseverance, but NASA’s newest rover, Perseverance, has been exploring the rocky martian surface of Mars since February 18th of last year. After months of hard work, the effort has paid off. NASA scientists released news of the rover’s newest discoveries, and some are more surprising than you would think. These insights from this new perspective have answered some key questions scientists have had, and who knows, we might be sending humans to Mars faster than you may think!

On Mars, there is a crater called Jezero, and scientists were wondering what the floor was made of. Just when they thought they lost hope, Perseverance’s clever PIXL instrument studied a patch of rock from the crater, discovering at least a fraction of it was made by lava. This was an important find because it shows scientists the age of the surface on Mars. The surface is 4.5 to 3.5 billion years old.

Water Alterations
When Perseverance analyzed a rock called Brac in the South Séítah region, the rover found huge clusters of crystals, including olivine and pyroxene. This shows evidence of water on Mars, since those crystals only grow near water. Water is important for life on Mars as it shows Mars was livable and may be sustainable to life once again.

Organic in the Suroundings
Perseverance scanned the surface of Mars to find organic compounds in rocks and dust. Organics are a fascinating find, as they are the building blocks for life. Although NASA is not certain the organics were made from biological processes, the discovery is still important. These compounds show chemical or fossil traces of life can be preserved.

    The Mars2020 Perseverance has made some incredible discoveries, and will continue to make many more. This information will help scientists learn more about the foreign environment, and accomplish their goal of sending humans to Mars by 2037. Who knows, maybe you will be on that flight to the red planet!