Humans have always been intrigued by the planet Mars. But it’s only been half a century since we were able to send our technologies to discover it. Unfortunately, whoever says sending technologies, also says waste. In total, more than 7 tons of debris lie on the Martian soil.
Where do they come from ?
There are three main sources that cause this waste: derelict hardware, spacecraft, and craft that have crashed on Mars.
Each mission to the planet Mars involves sending technology, protected by a spacecraft. This ship still includes a heat shield to protect the craft as it passes through the atmosphere, as well as a parachute to gently land on the planet. When the ship lands on Mars, the shield and parachute detach from the device and remain on the ground in pieces. These pieces are carried by the Martian wind and are scattered all over the planet.
Debris that adds up
The remains of the crashed ship also lie. If we add up all the debris from spacecraft deposited on Mars (Mars 3, Mars 6, Viking 1, Viking 2, Sejourner, Beagle 2, Phoenix, Spirit, Opportunity, etc.), we get a total of 9,979 kg. from this weight we subtract the weight of the Curiosity probe which is currently in operation, we arrive at a total of 7,119 kg.
Why is this important?
Today, scientists are concerned about the amount of waste accumulating on the red planet because it could be obstacles for future missions. They are currently investigating whether the waste could contaminate the samples Curiosity is collecting. NASA has also been doing research to see if Curiosity could get tangled in it, but the risks are very low.