NASA explains why a meteorite from Mars will have to be returned back to the planet

This little stone has a true story, said Professor Caroline Smith, a member of the research team.

robot Perseverance.

It was formed about 450 million years ago, wasdropped from Mars by an asteroid or comet about 600,000-700,000 years ago, and then landed on Earth. Scientists do not know the exact origins of the "arrival" of a piece of Mars on Earth, but they assume that it was about 1000 years ago. And now he is returning to Mars.

Credit: NASA / JPL

Discovered in the deserts of Oman in 1999,The meteorite, known as Sayh al Uhaymir 008 or SaU 008, is a classic piece of basalt very similar to a type of igneous rock found, for example, on the Giant's Trail in Northern Ireland.

Trail of the Giants, examples of basalt

It contains a lot of pyroxene, olivine and feldspar minerals. And it's this well-studied chemistry, along with the textures of the meteorite, that makes it so useful for the Perseverance robot mission.

Credit: NASA / JPL

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