Several collected samples included organic matter, indicating that the Lake Crater, which probably once contained a lake and the river that flowed into it, represented a potentially habitable environment 3.5 billion years ago.
”The rocks we examined in the delta have the highest concentration of organic matter we’ve found so far during the mission,” said Ken Farley. He is part of the Perseverance Project at the Cal Institute of Technology in Pasadena.
The rover’s mission, which began on the red planet 18 months ago, involves searching for signs of life on Mars. Perseverance is collecting rock samples that may hold information about it.
The rover has currently collected 12 rock samples. After a series of missions called Mars Sample Return, everything ordered will be brought back to Earth in 2030.
Organic molecules on Mars represent the building blocks of life – such as carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, as well as nitrogen, phosphorus, and sulfur. However, not all organic molecules require life to form because some can be created through chemical processes.