NASA's Mars Rovers Finds Parachute In Martian Desert

NASA’s Mars Perseverance rover has made a surprising discovery, 412 Earth days following arriving on the Red Planet.

A keen-eyed netizen found the abandoned remnants of the rover’s parachute in raw photographs that were shot on April 6, a timely reminder of how much ground NASA’s rover has already explored.

Although the item undoubtedly seems to be the rover’s parachute, NASA has yet to formally confirm the discovery.

The parachute’s remnants and position were picked up in photographs shot by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter immediately after the six-wheeled rover set down on the Martian surface back in February 2021.

That site is slightly south of Perseverance’s present location — a little over half a mile, according to our calculations — which can be seen in NASA’s excellent live map. In other words, it’s absolutely conceivable Perseverance’s mast cam was able to pick out the jetsam more than a year after the touchdown.

The rover has been traversing a lot of areas recently, first retracing part of its previous journey, and then reaching beyond the region where its little Ingenuity Mars helicopter accomplished its first flight back in April 2021.

Perseverance is now beelining — a portion of its trip jokingly known as the “drive, drive, drive campaign” — to a rockier location that scientists think is the delta of a dried-up ancient lake bed it landed in the heart of.

While it’s not basically moving at a fast pace, it did break its daily distance covered record, spanning an impressive 800 feet.

Reference(s): NASA

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