The planet Mars has always fascinated humans… Because it’s a lot like our own blue planet!
It has a North Pole, South pole, volcanoes and deserts. It’s about the same size and the same age!
It’s also accessible; the closest heavenly body to Earth after the Moon and Venus. Within reach of a rocket!
Finally, Mars used to be covered with liquid water, the indispensable ingredient for life to appear.
So, it’s hard to resist the urge to explore this planet, to answer all the questions it raises:
Why did Mars turn into an ice cube? Could the same thing happen to Earth?
Especially: Was there ever life on Mars… when it was habitable?
That’s exactly what Perseverance, the robot that landed on Mars in February 2021, is trying to find out.
Its mission: “Find traces of former microbes that probably lived there 3 billion years ago”.
Perseverance will collect rocks that it will stock in airtight tubes for about 5 years… Then the precious tubes will be loaded onto a rocket which will bring them back to Earth.
That’ll be the first time that Martian rocks have ever been handled and analyzed by humans. 13_FR A major step, before an even bigger adventure: “Sending astronauts to the red planet”.