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Once upon a time in Mars. History of Mars.

 Once upon a time in Mars. History of Mars.


Three and a half billion years ago, this dusty waves on Mars started flowing waves and currents, now known as the Jazero Crater. On a nascent Earth, chemistry was moving toward the peak of what we call life.

Astronomers, philosophers and science fiction writers have long wondered whether nature has done the same experiment on Earth. 

Was Mars another test tube for Darwin's development? You would no longer have laughed out of biology class for guessing that life actually first evolved on Mars and went to Earth on a meteorite, or that both planets were microscopic or proto-life They were also seeded from far away.

So humans have sent time and 300 million miles to their offspring in search of long-lost relatives, the ancient roots of a family tree that can be traced to the red planet's soil.

The Perseverance Rover and its younger brother, the Ingenuity helicopter, landed in a cloud of grit on 18 February, accompanied by antennas and cameras. 

Perseverance will spend the next Martian year - the equivalent of two Earth years - collecting rocks from the Jazero crater and the river delta, which enters it. 

The rover will investigate the debris chemically and geographically, and take photographs, so that scientists on Earth can discover any signs of ancient fossils or other patterns that living organisms have produced.

Perseverance and ingenuity work for much longer: 12-minute light-travel times - and signal delays - across the ether from Pasadena, where their producers and tenders wait to see what they've recently accomplished. 

Have done Like a teenager you slammed out the door with car keys, perseverance and ingenuity are no wiser and those trained more responsible than humans.

Those rocks will be picked up and returned to Earth in a five-year series of maneuvers involving relay rockets, rovers and orbital transfers starting in 2026, making retrieval of moon rocks as easy as shipping holiday cookies for your relatives . 

Rocks starting in 2031 will be examined for years, like the Dead Sea Scrolls, which they can say about the hidden history of our lost twins and, perhaps, the early days of life in the solar system.

The generation after World War II carried out the first great reconnaissance of the solar system. It may be the destiny of this generation to take the next big reconnaissance, to find out if we have any neighbors in these worlds. 

In the Jezero Crater, the dream lives. We can never live on Mars, but our machines already do that.

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