Will Gittins

NASA reports "unexpected" finding on


On 30 June 2020, NASA launched a new Mars mission, with a rover called Perseverence and the Ingenuity helicopter.

The car-sized Perseverence rover landed on the Red Planet on 18 February 2021 and soon began exploring the surface.

Last week the team reported that they had located a piece of thermal blanket from the rover's rocket-powered jet pack.

However the material was found around 2km away from the initial land site, raising questions about how it got there.

On Twitter, NASA wrote: "It’s a surprise finding this here: My descent stage crashed about 2 km away."

The thermal blanket forms a protective layer during the tricky landing phase and is made from high-tech materials.

NASA shared images of the team of "dressmakers" who kitted Peseverence out ahead of the inter-planet journey.

It's not the first debris found from this trip: the Ingenuity helicopter's landing gear was spotted earlier this year.

The helicopter has been surveying the planet's surface and located the parachute on its 26th flight on Mars.

It is hoped that the Perseverence mission will give greater insight into ancient Martian environments.

Scientists are able to remotely study the surface for evidence of former microbial life in our galaxy.

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