Rocks collected by NASA’s Perseverance rover from the floor of Jezero crater on Mars, due to return to Earth, could prove whether water once supported life on the red planet.
NASA rover collects key rocky clues as to whether there was life on Mars
NASA’s Perseverance rover has collected the first rock samples from Mars that could be returned to Earth in the first step towards answering if the red planet ever hosted life.
The samples come from the floor of Jezero crater, which was once a quiet lake fed steadily by a small river some 3.7 billion years ago.
Scientists believe that a watery Mars could have supported life billions of years ago.
A new discovery in Mars's Jezero Crater@NASAPersevere’s team has found that the ancient lake's floor is made up of volcanic rock rather than the sedimentary rock they expected. Why does this matter? Because volcanic rocks are excellent timekeepers! https://t.co/6qn5h4ynN9 pic.twitter.com/Ex0DPGNphI— NASA JPL (@NASAJPL) August 25, 2022
The rocks analysed and stored for return to Earth have been altered by water, indicating evidence of a watery past on Mars.