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Why is there seven tons of human garbage on Mars? & More Latest News Here

 

The surface of Mars already harbors more than seven tons of garbage coming from half a century of robotic exploration of the red planet.

This very exact calculation has been obtained by the Postdoctoral researcher in Robotics at the University of West Virginia Cagri Kilic from the analysis of 18 human-made objects bound for Mars in 14 separate missions, according to data from the United Nations Outer Space Office.

Adding the mass of the ships that have ever traveled to the red planet, you get approximately 9,979 kilos. If you subtract the weight of the operational ships that are now on a space mission, which is 2,860 kilos, a total of 7,119 kilos of human waste is obtained on Mars.

Neptune as seen by the James Webb Telescope

The debris on Mars is not because the astronauts have left garbage, but because they come from three sources: hardware scrapped, idle spaceships and crashed spaceships.

Each mission to the Martian surface requires a module that protects the spacecraft. This module includes a heat shield for when the spacecraft passes through the planet’s atmosphere and a parachute and hardware landing gear so you can land smoothly.

The ship discards parts of the module as it descends, and these parts can land in different places on the planet’s surface; there may be a lower heat shield in one place and a parachute in another. When this debris falls to the ground, it can break into smaller pieces, as it happened during the landing of the Perseverance rover in 2021. These small pieces can blow away due to the Martian winds.

Over the years, a lot of small windblown debris has been found, such as the netting material that was found recently. On June 13, 2022, the Perseverance rover detected a large, bright thermal blanket embedded in some rocks 2 kilometers from where the rover landed. Both Curiosity in 2012 and Opportunity in 2005 also found debris from their landing vehicles.
The rocket, before the launch scheduled for Saturday, September 3.

Crashed spaceships and their parts are another major source of garbage. At least two spaceships have crashed and another four have lost contact before or just after landing. Descending safely to the planet’s surface is the hardest part of any Mars landing mission, and it doesn’t always end well.

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