Mars might be 300 million miles away, but it’s not immune from trash. While not a single human inhabits Mars, there’s already at least one piece of litter dotting the Red Planet according to the Twitter account for NASA’s Perseverance Mars Rover.
Cosmos: Possible Worlds Gallery
NASA made another big stride in space exploration and science last year when the Perseverance landed on Mars joining four other rovers: Sojourner, Spirit, Opportunity, and Curiosity. Unfortunately, that new space landing came with a first for our solar system’s fourth planet from the sun: some unintended debris. NASA tweeted that their team spotted something unexpexted in the form of a thermal blanket.
NASA thinks the thermal blanket may have come off during Perseverance’s descent stage when it landed back in 2021. The thermal blanket, used to control temperatures, was a surprising find for NASA. Why? Because it was found pinned against a rock approximately two kilometers away from where the newest rover’s descended.
NASA also pulled back the curtain to show the rover pre-launch with its team of “spacecraft dressmakers” who adorned the rover in said thermal blankets.
Here’s part of the team at JPL that wrapped me up in thermal blankets. Think of them as spacecraft dressmakers. They work with sewing machines and other tools to piece together these unique materials.
More on that here: https://t.co/CNkUheYFnQ pic.twitter.com/PcMeow3FyO
— NASA’s Perseverance Mars Rover (@NASAPersevere) June 15, 2022
NASA’s exploration of Mars has led to some exciting discoveries. Perseverance’s landing last year made it the first rover equipped with a microphone to touch down, leading to several audio and video recordings from the planet’s surface. Most of NASA’s rovers also make the months long journey to the Red Planet adorned with a number of aesthetic Easter eggs – ranging from practical to playful.
Casey is a freelance writer for IGN. You can usually find him talking about JRPGs on Twitter at @caseydavidmt.