The NASA rover who is heading to Mars, Perseverance, has as main objective to look for signs of the ancient microbial life that existed – perhaps – on the planet. However, this is not his only task. For example, the vehicle will test fabric for future astronaut spacesuits who will go to the Red Planet.
“They wanted to see what happens when this stuff has been on Mars for a long time and we needed a way to make sure it worked properly“says Luther Beegle, lead researcher for the Rover’s Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman & Luminescence for Organics & Chemicals (SHERLOC) mission.
I’m 10 the material samples that have been chosen for their specific properties. The top five materials on the device include two sapphire discs, two pieces of silica glass and a Martian meteorite that has been found on Earth. The lower row has five other samples: polycarbonate to create a helmet visor; samples of Orthofabric and Vectran, used for the exterior of the suit and on the palm of the gloves; and finally two pieces of Teflon, always for the creation of gloves.
Experts also have intention to create in their laboratory an instrument capable of recreating the conditions of Mars, so as to test even more materials in the future. In short, surely the Perseverance rover will give us a great hand to better understand how to explore the Red Planet in the future.