Perseverance took the photo of a small piece of string during the exploration of the Jezero crater.
What is this strange object photographed on Mars? NASA's Perseverance robot came across a tangle of tangled wires last week, which left experts baffled.
There are a lot of uncertainties said AFP a NASA spokesperson.
But the most plausible explanation is actually quite down to earth: according to some hypotheses, it could be pieces of the rope connecting the rover to the parachute which was used to brake its descent during its landing. Or the one used to descend it during the last few meters (a stage called skycrane).
Perseverance has already come face to face several times with the equipment that allowed it to land on Mars.
In June, another photo showed what looks like at first glance to a piece of aluminum foil, wedged between two red stones. It was actually a piece of thermal insulation from the robot's descent stage.
Presumably these small debris was blown around after landing, the NASA spokesperson commented.
And they're probably still moving: a few days after the picture of the wires, the robot came back to the same place, but they had disappeared.
These images were captured by the robot in the delta of an ancient river, which scientists believe flowed into a huge lake billions of years ago, and where Perseverance searches for traces of ancient life.
In place of the lake today: Jezero Crater, where Perseverance landed in February 2021.
It was in this crater that he was able to photograph, in April, the parachute itself.
The small helicopter on board for the trip, called Ingenuity, for its part captured even more impressive images in flight: not only the parachute, but also the rear shield which contained the latter before its deployment.
Image of the Perseverance shield taken at an altitude of 8 meters by the Ingenuity helicopter during its 26th flight to Mars, April 19, 2022.
The shield appears heavily damaged by the impact suffered by hitting the ground, after completing its mission.
Deciphering these images can help to enable safer landings in the future, NASA commented at the time that.