Perseverance: Nasa's Mars rover spots its own litter

Last updated at 05:04
Picture of thermal blanket on Mars@NASAPersevere/Twitter
The rover took this picture of the shiny piece of thermal blanket which was a part of its landing gear

Nasa's Mars rover, Perseverance, recently made an 'unexpected' discovery on the planet.

It spotted a strange shiny silver object amongst the rocks.

However, scientists later confirmed that the mystery item was actually a piece of litter...from the rover itself!

Experts say that a piece of thermal blanket which was part of its landing gear must have accidentally fallen off when the rover descended on the planet last year.

What did scientists find?
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WATCH: The moment the Nasa Perseverance rover landed on Mars (2021)

Perseverance landed on Mars in February 2021, after a nearly 300 million mile journey from Earth.

The six-wheeled robot is currently spending two years drilling into rocks, looking for evidence of past life.

The US Space Agency made the announcement on Perseverance's social media channel, saying they had "spotted something unexpected".

It wrote: "It's a piece of a thermal blanket that they think may have come from my descent stage, the rocket-powered jet pack that set me down on landing day."

The rover was wrapped in the material in order to control its temperature during its descent.

However, experts are a bit baffled how it got there, as the rover landed more than a mile away!

It added: "It's a surprise finding this here: My descent stage crashed about 2 km away. Did this piece land here after that, or was it blown here by the wind?"

So far, only unmanned spacecraft have travelled to the Red Planet, but Nasa is hoping to send the first humans to Mars by the 2030s.

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