This collection of cables on Mars has a more prosaic explanation than we thought.
Space spaghetti, yarn, thread… The Perseverance rover captured a mysterious item in mid-July on Mars. NASA: “There are many unknowns.”
The most likely answer is grounded. Some hypothesize that these are fragments of the rope that tied Perseverance to its parachute. It might also be the last-meter rope (a stage called “skycrane”).
The rover has encountered its own equipment on Mars before. In June, another shot revealed aluminum foil between two red stones. It was descent-stage insulation.
NASA’s representative speculates that the wind shifted the debris after landing. The rover returned to the same spot a few days after the snap, but the threads were gone.
The rover took the photograph near the delta of an ancient river that poured into a lake billions of years ago. Perseverance searches for ancient life here. The lake is now the Jezero crater, where the rover landed in 2021 and photographed its parachute.
The Ingenuity space chopper caught the parachute and its back shield in flight recently. The landing damaged the shield. NASA said that studying these photos might lead to safer future landings.