NASA has found debris from a UFO on Mars.
Space agency boffins spotted a piece of what looked like loo roll dangling from one of the feet of an unmanned helicopter as it took off from the Red Planet.
It was captured by the craft’s navigation camera.
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As the chopper went up the mystery debris fell off and plummeted back to the planet’s surface.
Space boffins have now launched a mission to find out what it was and where it came from.
NASA officials have described it as UFO debris’. The craft it got caught up on – called Ingenuity – has been supporting the robot rover Perseverance’s mission to find signs of alien life on Mars.
Perseverance – a car-sized space robot – has been scouring the planet’s surface for two years. During the 33rd flight of its supporting helicopter on the Red Planet last week Ingenuity’s Navcam camera captured unknown foreign object debris’ – or FOD – which had not been present on its previous mission.
A NASA spokesman said: "A small piece of foreign object debris was seen in footage from the Mars helicopter’s navigation camera for a portion of its 33rd flight.This FOD was not visible in Navcam footage from the previous Flight 32.
The FOD is seen in Flight 33 Navcam imagery from the earliest frames to approximately halfway through the video when it fell from the leg and drifted back to the Mars surface. All telemetry from the flight and a post-flight search and transfer are nominal and show no indication of vehicle damage.
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The Ingenuity and Perseverance Mars 2020 teams are working to discern the source of the debris.’’ Boffins hope the debris will be easy to track down because Ingenuity’s flight only lasted 55 seconds in which time it travelled 111-metres.
The camera that captured the material is on the bottom of the rotorcraft. Experts claim the groundbreaking mission may already have found evidence of life on Mars.
Scrapings Perserverance took from what is thought to be an ancient river delta contain organic molecules from once-living organisms, according to its on-board scanner. It cannot be confirmed until the samples are returned to Earth for analysis in 2033.
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The 80 million mile journey back to Earth takes three years.
Three months ago TV physicist Professor Brian Cox predicted humans were on the brink of discovering real life Martians. Brian, 54, who presented the Wonders Of… TV science series, said the current mission was unlikely to come across an ET-style alien.
But he said he "wouldn’t be at all surprised" if it unearthed a microbe.
He told Saga magazine: "If you're talking about complex life – UFOs and alien civilisations – most of the biologists I speak to think it's highly unlikely.’’
But, he went on: "The Perseverance rover which is on Mars at the moment will be collecting samples from an ancient river delta.And I wouldn't be at all surprised if we find signs of microbial life".
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