NASA explains what weird string-like object is

NASA believes it has solved the mystery of a string-like object found on Mars.
The Perseverance rover photographed the out-of-place item on the red planet last month, on Sol 495 of the mission (July 11). But before higher-resolution pictures could be obtained the mysterious item blew away in the wind.

This week the space agency confirmed the material has Earthly origins.

Before the string could be imaged by the higher-resolution Mastcam-Z cameras, the string was blown away by the wind.

A string-like material was photographed on Mars on Sol 495, July 11. (NASA/JPL-Caltech. ) / Before the string could be imaged by the higher-resolution Mastcam-Z cameras, the string was blown away by the wind. (NASA/JPL-Caltech )

NASA believes the string is a piece of Dacron netting, a material used in thermal blankets.

“The hardware teams suspect that this is another piece of Dacron netting, based on the observed 2×2 mm2 grid mesh pattern,” it said in a statement.

“They noted that this particular piece of netting appears to have undergone significant unraveling/shredding, suggesting that it was subjected to strong forces.”

Previously a spokesperson had speculated the bundle was “a piece of cord from the parachute or from the landing system that lowers the rover to the ground.”

Just days after NASA's Perseverance rover gently dropped the Ingenuity helicopter on the surface of Mars, the robot companions took a selfie together on Tuesday and beamed it back to Earth.
Days after NASA’s Perseverance rover dropped the Ingenuity helicopter on the surface of Mars, the robot companions took a selfie together. (JPL-Caltech/MSSS/NASA)

In the past, the Vikings Lander has measured Martian winds speeds of up to 113 kilometers (70 miles) per hour during dust storms.

The Perseverance rover is currently collecting the samples on Mars, but it regularly stumbles upon pieces of material left over from its descent.

On Sol 474 (June 23) the rover discovered a piece of mesh netting on the planet; a twisted piece of Dacron net material.

Perseverance regularly finds debris left over from its decent.  On Sol 477 it found a twisted piece of Dacron net material (left).  And on Sol 467 it found debris from a thermal blanket.
Perseverance regularly finds debris left over from its decent. On Sol 477 it found a twisted piece of Dacron net material (left). And on Sol 467 it found debris from a thermal blanket. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU)

That came days after Perseverance found a piece of foil wedged in a rock.

The debris is believed to be part of the rover’s thermal blanket.

Perseverance touched down on the red planet on February 18, 2021.

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