The earth is the home where human beings have lived for millions of years. In ancient times, people always had a dream, that is to go out of the earth and see what the world outside the earth looks like? And this wish was finally realized after human beings entered the era of science and technology. In the middle of last century, human beings finally walked out of the earth and saw the extraterrestrial world.
When people walk out of the earth, what they see is not a beautiful world like the earth, but a mysterious universe with dark and cold background. At that time, we understood that the earth was just a grain of dust in the vast universe, and the place where the earth lived was called the solar system, with eight planets. The earth has two neighbors, one is Venus, the other is Mars.
When human beings walk out of the earth and see the vast universe, an eternal topic appears, that is, does extraterrestrial life exist? In most people’s cognition, the universe is vast, there are countless galaxies and planets, even if it is a very small probability of the birth of life, then the life planet in the universe must be a very large number.
Therefore, at the moment when human beings walk out of the earth, exploring extraterrestrial life has become our important goal. For the space technology that human beings are still very backward, the area we can explore is very limited, so scientists focus on the planets near the earth. Venus and Mars are the two key targets, because they are earth like planets like earth, and they are also in the habitable zone.
Scientists first explored Venus, but when the probe reached the orbit of Venus, it found that Venus has a very thick atmosphere, and more than 90% of the composition is carbon dioxide. As a result, the greenhouse effect of Venus is very serious, and the surface temperature has reached 460 ℃. Such a planet can be called purgatory. Orbital probes can’t see the surface of Venus through the thick atmosphere, and it’s very difficult for probes to land on Venus. Even if they do, they can only survive for a very short time.
When scientists found that human science and technology can not detect Venus, they can only move their eyes from Venus to Mars. Although the environment of Mars is very desolate and harsh, compared with the environment of Venus, Mars can be called heaven. Mars has only a thin atmosphere, and its surface temperature is not hot.
Mars probe can carry out preliminary exploration on the surface of Mars in orbit. More importantly, Mars rover can land on Mars and carry out long-term mobile exploration on the surface. This is very important for human to understand Mars. After scientists found that the environment on Mars is very suitable for human exploration, they launched dozens of probes to Mars.
Among the Mars probes, the most important one is to land on the Mars rover, which can face the surface of Mars at close range, and let us know the real Mars environment for the first time. Maybe we can make some important discoveries. Scientists have two main expectations for Mars, one is to see if there is a large amount of liquid water on Mars, the other is whether there will be life on Mars.
If the probe wants to detect the existence of liquid water and life on Mars, it needs the help of Mars rover. In 2012, the curiosity Rover officially started its journey to Mars. After more than seven years of travel, curiosity has taken a lot of pictures of the surface of Mars. Through these pictures, we have a more comprehensive understanding of Mars.
In the past, Mars had another Mars rover, opportunity, which had been in service earlier. However, in 2018, Mars ushered in a huge dust storm, which lasted for several months. Opportunity completely lost contact in the dust storm, and only curiosity is still working. It has become the only probe currently serving on the surface of Mars.
In more than seven years, curiosity has discovered ancient river beds on the surface of Mars and methane on Mars. These major discoveries have led scientists to speculate that Mars may have been a beautiful planet of life. It was only later that there was an ecological upheaval that made Mars what it is now.
Since there are ancient river beds on the surface of Mars, it means that there was a lot of liquid water on Mars long ago. Is there still water now? Orbiters have confirmed that there is ice at the poles of Mars. But no water has been found in other desert areas, and scientists expect to find traces of liquid water beneath the surface of Mars.
To find water under the surface of Mars, it needs to drill holes, so curiosity drilled two holes on the surface of Mars, one of which showed a certain “humidity”, so scientists believe that there may be a lot of liquid water under the surface of Mars. Unfortunately, subsequent studies have shown that the moisture is just sand particles blown nearby by the wind.
The discovery of another cave made scientists very happy. It turned out that clay was found in the second cave. We should know that where clay exists, there is always groundwater. An important reference standard for people on earth to dig wells is to have clay, where it is easier to drill wells with water. Curiosity’s discovery of clay in a hole on Mars means there may be a lot of liquid water beneath the surface of the region.
Of course, curiosity’s ability will not be able to drill deep holes, nor will it be able to determine whether there is liquid water under the surface of this area. And this task can only be completed by a new Mars probe in the future. You know, if there was a lot of liquid water on Mars a long time ago, and then the environment changed dramatically, the surface water disappeared, and the underground water was still sealed.
If this is the case, the water beneath the surface of Mars may also be very deep, and it is difficult to find water in shallow places. We need to drill a very deep hole, and to achieve this, it is very easy on earth. With our present drilling equipment, it is not difficult to drill a kilometer deep well. But on Mars, it’s very difficult.
The insight probe, which landed on Mars in 2018, is a Mars rover specially designed to drill the surface of Mars and explore underground secrets. This Mars rover can be said to focus on the highest space technology of mankind at present. Even so, it can only drill a deep hole of about 6 meters. It is estimated that it is difficult to find the liquid water under the surface by drilling a hole at this depth. Maybe we need to drill a hole about 60 meters deep to find the groundwater.
However, with the current scientific and technological strength of mankind, we can’t get the powerful drilling equipment on earth to Mars. We can only wait for the future human science and technology to go further and have more powerful transportation capacity. Maybe we can send a special drilling team to Mars to drill a deep well to see if there is a lot of liquid water under the surface.
Now curiosity has discovered the clay under the surface of Mars for us, which is a happy thing for scientists. Only in the future, when human space is more powerful, can we go to this area to drill deeper, and maybe find a lot of underground clay. At that time, we can be sure that there is a lot of liquid water outside the Martian underground.
With a large amount of liquid water, there will be great hope for mankind to transform Mars into a second earth. It may not take many years for human beings to establish a base on Mars and preliminarily transform Mars, and the dream of human migration to Mars will be realized. We are looking forward to that day.
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