Humans left more than 7 tons of trash on Mars after 50 years of exploration

Humans left more than 7 tons of garbage on Mars after 50 years of exploration - Photo 1.

Piece of spagetti noodles was discovered on Mars – Photo: NASA

According to the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), over the past 50 years countries have sent 18 man-made objects to Mars on 14 separate missions.

Many of these missions are still ongoing. However, over the decades of exploration of Mars, humanity has left a lot of debris on the planet’s surface.

In mid-August 2022, the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) confirmed that the Mars rover Perseverance had detected a piece of debris thrown out during landing, which was a tangled net.

This is not the first time scientists have found trash on Mars The Conversation.

Where did the debris come from?

Debris on Mars comes from 3 main sources: The discarded spacecraft’s landing hardware, the inactive spacecraft, and the crashed spacecraft.

Every mission to the surface of Mars requires a spacecraft protection module. This module includes a heat shield when the spacecraft passes through the planet’s atmosphere, a parachute and hardware for a gentle landing.

Manually removing pieces of the module as the spacecraft descends makes it possible for these pieces to break up and splatter all over the Martian surface.

Previously, on June 13, 2022, the Perseverance rover discovered a large, shiny heat shield located in some rocks, 2 km from where the rover landed.

Both the 2012 Curiosity rovers and the 2005 Opportunity rovers also encountered debris from their landing vehicles.

Unwanted “Relic”

There were 9 inactive spacecraft that crashed on the Martian surface also forming further debris. They include Mars 3 lander, Mars 6 lander, Viking 1 lander, Viking 2 lander, Sojourner lander, formerly lost Beagle 2 lander, Phoenix lander, Spirit lander and ship the Opportunity rover.

Each piece of the ship is considered a historical relic, with stories telling the imprint of humanity on this planet.

However, these “relics” are scattered “disorderly” on the surface of Mars. Some parts of Curiosity’s aluminum wheels, for example, were broken and scattered. The Perseverance rover dropped a drill on the surface of Mars in July 2021.

At least two spacecraft crashed, and four others lost contact before or shortly after landing.

Landing safely on the planet’s surface has always been the hardest part of Mars landing missions, and it doesn’t always end well.

When we add up the masses of all the spacecraft ever sent to Mars, we get about 9,979 kilograms of junk. Subtracting the weight of the 2,860 kg surface ship, remaining 7,119 kg of debris left behind on Mars.

How is the garbage on Mars affected?

Today, scientists are very concerned about trash on Mars, because it is a great risk for current and future missions.

A research team is documenting all the Martian debris found. They wanted to check to see if there was any debris that could contaminate the rock samples the rover was collecting.

NASA engineers also looked into whether the Perseverance spacecraft crashed on landing, due to entanglement in debris. However, engineers say this risk is very low.

Start experimenting with cleaning up trash in space Start experimenting with cleaning up trash in space

TTO – The mission to test the idea of ​​​​cleaning up space debris that could endanger space activities was launched on the morning of March 22, from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

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