Currently, Mars is dry and cold without water at its surface level. But scientists found from orbital and rover observations that this planet once had a warmer, wetter climate.
There is a Mars 2020 Mission whose major purpose is to use the “Perseverance Rover,” to collect samples. The Perseverance Rover landed on Mars on February 18, 2021, to return Martian samples to Earth and examine them for possible biosignatures. These biosignatures, if any will provide evidence of any early life on Mars.
The Perseverance Rover landed on a 45-km-diameter crater called the “Jezero.” The landing site of the Perseverance Rover is also informally called Octavia E. Butler. The Jezero crater was selected as the landing site based on orbital images that demonstrated “geomorphic expressions of two sedimentary fan structures (western and northern) at the edges of the crater.”
These two sedimentary fan structures are thought to be “river delta deposits” that were formed “during the Late Noachian or Early Hesperian epochs on Mars”, which was ~3.6 to 3.8 billion years ago.
Spectroscopic observations have detected “phyllosilicates and carbonates, minerals” which are generally indicative of past aqueous environments in the Jezero crater. Once the Perseverance Rover completes its investigation and brings the Martian samples back, greater insights into the evolution of the ancient lake system on the Jezero crater will be revealed and the time scale of “liquid water residence” on the surface may be determined.
These findings could help bring us one step closer to the possibility of multi-planetary living.
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