NASA's Perseverance to study Turkey's Lake Salda samples similar to Jezero Crater

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Mar 09, 2021, 02:53 PM(IST)

Sediments and muddy shoreline along Lake Salda in Turkey Photograph:( Reuters )

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NASA's Perseverance rover now housed in Mars will investigate whether there are microbialites in Jezero Crater.

According to NASA, the Mars Perseverance mission will search for signs of ancient life on the Martian surface similar to rocks found along the shoreline of Lake Salda in Turkey.

NASA's Perseverance Mars rover landed on Jezero Crater last month. Scientists believe it was home to a river delta nearly 3.5 billion years ago. 

Interestingly, the rocks along the shoreline of Lake Salda in Turkey were formed by microbes that trap minerals and sediments in the water which was once a major life form on Earth. It is supposed to be one of the oldest known fossilized records of life on our planet, according to NASA.

"We are going to bring, tens of those back and each one of those samples, we hope will give us just like Lake Salda the information about microbial life," NASA doctor Thomas Zurbuchen said.

NASA's Perseverance rover now housed in Mars will investigate whether there are microbialites in Jezero Crater. It will also compare sediments collected from Lake Salda with fossilised remains at Mars to understand the differences between the Mars sediments and Lake Salda.

A journal Icarus had earlier identified deposits of minerals called carbonates along the inner rim of Jezero Crater. NASA's Perseverance equipped with the latest high tech designs aims to build on the discoveries of Curiosity which found parts of Mars could have supported microbial life billions of years ago.

NASA scientists believe the Jezero Crater measuring 45 kilometres once hosted a river delta. Perseverance expects to explore both the crater floor and delta during the mission.

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