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The presence of life on Mars is dependent on the way we behave in space

This month will see three spacecraft docking on Mars, each with peculiar objectives. Two missions will be the first for their respective parent countries, while the other will be a new adventure on the red planet. First is the UAE Emirates Mars Mission, also called Hope, and will be lodging into the orbit next week Tuesday. Next will be China’s Tianwen-1 mission that will dock on the red planet’s gravitational grip and send out a rover to spy on the red planet. The success of these missions will place the parent countries in the list of countries that have managed to send spacecraft to Mars. On the other hand, the third mission will bring out exciting news about Mars that those who only view it in pictures will find exciting.

Four days after Valentine’s Day, NASA will be deploying the Perseverance rover that will head for the Jezero Crater. This mission has various scientific objectives that it will be seeking to address. Sanjeev Gupta of Imperial College London stated that the Perseverance mission would create a better perspective of the red planet that those who only watch the surface of Mars have not experienced. The mission will try to unravel the formation of the planet. The crustal rocks of the Earth are in constant motion to change the landscape or adjust the ground for stability. On Mars, the rocks are shielding what’s beneath to protect it from the scorching sun. The Perseverance rover team will study these rocks to understand where life began or how it evolved many Mars years ago.

The Perseverance rover mission is also peculiar because it will be bringing together two space agencies, NASA and ESA, that have been in constant competition for the supremacy of space operations. The mission has been NASA’s long-term plan while the ESA observed it as a pathway for obtaining some Martian rock samples. Gupta added that scientists are curious to analyze the rocks from Mars to grasp why the planet is so dry and exhibits water bodies’ characteristics covering it. Moreover, they can experiment on the samples every time they feel that the samples can give them more details when exposed to new analytical methods. Astronauts have determined that to maintain the integrity of the Martian rock samples, they must practice space hygiene. They neither carry the life forms on Earth to the planet using the spacecraft nor backward contamination of the Earth by releasing the life forms of other planets into Earth.

This post was originally published on Downey Magazine