New images have provided an insight into the alien, inhospitable Jezero Crater lakebed on Mars.
NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover has taken three images of dust devils — small whirlwinds — on the location, where it landed in 2021 to begin its search for signs of ancient life.
The rover captured the images on July 20, 2021, the 148th Martian day, or sol, of the mission, using its Navigation Camera (M2020), according to NASA. They were taken roughly 15 seconds apart and were presented in GIF form. You can see the animation here.
The Mars Perseverance mission is searching for signs of ancient microbial life on the red planet, and it has been helped by the Ingenuity helicopter, which has become a designated aerial scout after it outdid its initial mission parameters of five flights.
It will also help in the mission of taking humans to Mars. Before they do that, however, they will first send humans back to the surface of the Moon with their upcoming Artemis III mission.
NASA’s rover is getting near its “main astrobiology target”, as it just began its ascent of an ancient delta feature called “Hawksbill Gap” on Mars.
The space agency believes that the rover might find signs of ancient life at this location as the delta would have naturally collected river deposits including nutrients when the red planet once had flowing water on its surface.
Last year on February 18, the Perseverance rover landed on Mars’ Jezero Crater. Since then, it has helped to provide new evidence that the Jezero Crater was once a lake because of the images of the surrounding rock formations and deltas. Perseverance has also helped to carry out various historic firsts, including the first controlled flight on Mars and the first extraction of breathable oxygen on the red planet.
It is a giant leap for us to have alluring images from the mission showing the dusty alien panorama that may one day become our home.