The mystery of the tangled string-like object, found on the surface of Mars, has been solved by NASA.
The mystery of the tangled string-like object, found on the surface of Mars, has been solved by NASA. When an image of the bizarre object, captured by the agency’s Perseverance rover, first surfaced online last month, it sparked wild theories from intrigued space enthusiasts. Could it be proof of alien life? Tumbleweed on the Red Planet? Spaghetti?
Turns out that the explanation is much more straightforward.
Martian tumbleweed? No. More "stuff" from the Perseverance rover's descent stage or backshell that has been blown close to the rover by the whispering martian wind. If you're worried about this being litter, don't be… pic.twitter.com/VwgO0z0oFO
— Stuart Atkinson (@mars_stu) July 13, 2022
The stringlike material is “likely piece of shredded Dacron netting,” NASA has confirmed. Dacron is a material similar to polyester, used to protect the rover from the extreme temperatures of Mars during landing.
In a blog post last week, Justin Maki, Imaging Scientist NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, explained that the ‘spaghetti’ is a piece of netting from thermal blankets that were used during the Perseverance rover’s descent stage.
“This particular piece of netting appears to have undergone significant unravelling/shredding, suggesting that it was subjected to strong forces,” the blog post noted.