Mars is already trashed: Humans have dumped more than 15,000 pounds of debris on the Red Planet

by NewsTimeOffice



Humans have dumped more than 15,000 pounds of trash on Mars in the past 50 years, and a human has never set foot on the Red Planet.

Cagri Kilic, a postdoctoral research fellow in robotics at West Virginia University, analyzed the mass of all rovers and orbiters sent to Mars and subtracted the weight of what is currently underway, resulting in 15,694 pounds of debris.

Trash includes discarded hardware, decommissioned spacecraft and those that have crashed on Earth’s surface – notably the Soviet Union’s Mars Orbiter 2 which crash-landed in 1971.

Not only are humans already polluting other planets, scientists fear that the debris could contaminate samples collected by NASA’s Perseverance rover, which is currently searching for ancient life on Mars.

One scientist calculated that there are 15,694 pounds of trash on Mars. Much of this stems from discarded hardware like the thermal blanket that NASA perseveres with to protect its progeny through the infernal atmosphere.

Much of the debris is unavoidable, as many parts must be discarded to protect the craft as they fly through the Red Planet’s hellish atmosphere — including NASA’s Perseverance that endured seven minutes of hell when it landed in February 2021.

The rover, which is collecting samples on Mars to be brought back to Earth, captured images of the trash during its mission.

In June, NASA’s team on Earth spotted a light in the distance in an image sent back by Perseverance, which they then directed the rover to take a look at.

A few weeks later, Persistence entered the Hogwallow Flats region and acquired a high-resolution, 360-degree Mastcam-Z panorama.

The Ingenuity helicopter diligently took a photo of the landing gear in use during its arrival. Pictured are a parachute and the cone-shaped backshell that secured the rover in space

Most recently in June, Perseverance came upon a shredded Dacron mesh that helped land safely on Mars.

And because of the Martian wind, the tight mesh began to unravel and three weeks later appeared as a ball of knotted, rope-like material.

The figure shows that bright light is a reflection of a thermal blanket.

This was used to protect the car-sized vehicle from the extreme temperatures experienced during landing.

The blanket clings to the corner of several rocks and seems to reflect the light.

The rover’s companion, the Ingenuity helicopter, also captured an image of the landing gear used when it brought back Persistence in 2021.

A parachute and cone-shaped backshell that protected the rover in space, as well as during its fiery descent toward the Martian surface, were seen in incredible detail.

Most recently in June, the Perseverance came upon a shredded Dacron mesh that helped it land safely on Mars.

And because of the Martian wind, the tight mesh began to unravel and three weeks later appeared as a ball of knotted, rope-like material.

NASA’s scope is now dead on Mars, but it did send back a photo of its heat shield in 2004, with debris lying on the ground several miles away.

There are a total of nine inactive spacecraft sitting on Mars, including the Mars 3 lander, Mars 6 lander, Viking 1 lander, Viking 2 lander, Sojourner rover, European Space Agency’s Schiaparelli lander (pictured), Phoenix lander, Spirit. Rover and Opportunity Rover

Then there are the dead robots on Mars, specifically NASA’s scope that was active from 2004 to mid-2018.

The rover weighs about 347 pounds, about the same weight as a hippopotamus, and is now stuck in Martian dirt.

However, it left a trail of debris as it passed the Red Planet.

It sent NASA a photo of its heat shield in 2004, along with debris that littered the ground for miles.

A total of nine inactive spacecraft are sitting on Mars, including Mars 3 lander, Mars 6 lander, Viking 1 lander, Viking 2 lander, Sojourner rover, European Space Agency’s Schiaparelli lander, Phoenix lander, Spirit rover. Opportunity rover.

According to Killick, most of the robots are still intact and seen by space agencies as historical monuments rather than discarded trash.

‘When you add up the mass of all the spacecraft sent to Mars, you get about 22,000 pounds (9979 kilograms),’ Killick wrote in the interview.

‘Subtract the weight of the craft currently moving on the surface – 6,306 pounds (2,860 kilograms) – and you’re left with 15,694 pounds (7,119 kilograms) of human debris on Mars.’

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