JEZERO CRATER, MARS – FEBRUARY 18: In this handout image provided by NASA, the first high-resolution, color image to be sent back by the Hazard Cameras (Hazcams) on the underside of NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover after its landing in the area known as Jezero crater on February 18, 2021 on the planet Mars. A key objective for Perseverance’s mission on Mars is astrobiology, including the search for signs of ancient microbial life. The rover will characterize the planet’s geology and past climate, paving the way for human exploration of the Red Planet, and be the first mission to collect and cache Martian rock and regolith.
China Rover ‘Zhurong’ HoleOn the other hand, Jonathan O’ Callaghan, a space journalist, noticed something beyond what other people have talked about, Futurism reported.
This is very cool. The hole blasted by China's Mars lander when it touched down on the Red Planet. pic.twitter.com/FNfF4EpX8v — Jonathan O’Callaghan (@Astro_Jonny) June 11, 2021The post had a photo attached to it that focused on the crater-like hole that the Zhurong produced below it as it stands firm on the ground of the red planet. A Twitter user replied that the hole is either a crater or “a very angry Martian coming out of its burrow to see what all the fuss is about.” Meanwhile, the crater caught the attention of Phil Metzger, a scientist at the University of Central Florida. He noticed the risk that could birth from it. At the same time, he was astonished at the size of the hole.
Safety Issue for Big LandersMetzger believes that the crater hints at a problem that could arise from the soil composition of Mars. He said that the unpopular hole is caused by the bonding of the soil. He further illustrated how a heavy and big lander will find itself in danger as it lands on top of the red planet. Metzger noted that a 40-ton lander, given its weight, could possibly destroy the soil below it. In turn, the rover could be found crushed deeply in the deep soil it digged itself. The planetary scientist cleared out that the slump will occur after a few weeks as the crater-like hole faces dehydration. As such, the soil above the legs of the rover could disintegrate and lead to it being sucked down below.
Working on SolutionAccording to Interesting Engineering, Masten Space Systems, an aerospace manufacturer, together with the University of Central Florida, is thinking of a solution to refrain rockets from punching a huge crater.
When the results from the study are in, future explorations in Mars could face more assurance in landing safely.
Written by Teejay Boris