NASA’s Mars rover Perseverance has captured blobs hovering in the sky, which UFO hunters claim are unidentified flying objects.
Dr. Nathalie Cabrol, Director of the Carl Sagan Center for Research at the SETI Institute, believes life could exist on Mars today. Perhaps not on the surface, but underground where conditions could be more suitable to supporting life.
The car-sized rover has extensively photographed its surroundings — the boulder-studded floor of Mars’ 28-mile-wide (45 kilometers) Jezero Crater, where the rover and chopper touched down on Feb. 18 — with its high-resolution Mastcam-Z imaging system.
Perseverance has also studied nearby rocks in greater detail as part of NASA’s mission (perhaps the most ambitious hunt yet) for signs of ancient life on Mars.
The mission team is keen to know whether the stones are volcanic or sedimentary in origin. Volcanic rocks can serve as geological clocks, allowing researchers to better understand the history and evolution of Jezero, which hosted a lake and a river delta billions of years ago. And sedimentary rocks, which form through the deposition of dirt and sand over time, have greater potential to preserve signatures of Mars life, if it ever existed at Jezero.
Hunting for biosignatures is one of Perseverance’s two core mission tasks, along with collecting and caching several dozen samples of potential astrobiological significance. That pristine Mars material will be hauled to Earth by a joint NASA-European Space Agency campaign, perhaps as early as 2031.