Mars He is the center of attention. The red planet is supposed to become the first human colony, and it is already intriguing all space agencies and even some private companies.
Over the past decades, NASA has sent a large number of probes and rovers to the site. Only perseverance is, in fact The last is in a long line. And while it should teach us a lot about this planet, it is not the only one sending us valuable information.
No, and among the most important devices, the MRO, is the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Existing in the orbit of Mars since 2006, we’ve already taught a lot of things about the planet.
MRO discovered a new crater on Mars
And apparently, she continues to teach us about it, as evidenced by the startling discovery mentioned By NASA.
Ross Bayer, a geophysicist with the US Space Agency, mentioned in a recent article about the discovery of a strange crater on the surface of Mars. A crater large and deep enough to be seen very clearly on the readings taken by the HiRISE camera of the orbiter.
If the posted description is to be believed, this pit will be made of fine sand, with slopes facing southeast. However, researchers do not know if the cavity is completely independent or if it leads to a network of lava tubes.
A simple well or an inlet that leads to a network of lava tubes?
Mars is often mistakenly viewed as a sterile planet hostile to all life. Studies over the past few decades have shown, however, that the planet was very different when it started.
Really very different, even. It was already covered with lakes and rivers, with great volcanic activity. Volcanic activity, of course, left its traces. Researchers believe that Earth’s interior passes through a network of lava, a network that could also play a major role in colonizing the planet.
The problem with Mars isn’t just the low temperatures, or the lack of a well-ventilated atmosphere. The anxiety is actually on the side of the magnetosphere. The red planet is devoid of it, and therefore space radiation is constantly sweeping it.
To protect ourselves from this, we will have to build airtight shelters … or bury ourselves deep in the ground. What could specifically facilitate lava tubes. They could indeed be large enough to house entire colonies, colonies that could simultaneously escape cosmic rays.
Perseverance can help us see more clearly
But this network is not only interested in the role it could play in colonizing the planet. In fact, these tubes are also of biological importance. It could also contain relics from ancient Mars life.
Note that this is not the first time that a gap entrance has been detected by our instruments. Several similar cavities have been observed in recent years, with diameters, in some cases, up to several hundred meters. However, we have not yet been able to explore it or take samples inside.
However, persistence can help us see more clearly. The rover is already on board An unmanned aircraft designed for low-flying operationsAnd it’s a drone that could allow us to take pictures of the interior of these sockets.