A lake in turkey crystal clear waters and white sands formed in an ancient volcanic crater could hide the key to help the NASA Mars 2020 mission and the robot Perseverance -which landed on February 18 successfully on the surface of the red planet- to find traces of life on mars.
The Perseverance rover managed to land successfully on the Martian surface yesterday for a crucial mission that will determine if there ever was life on Mars and, of course, if it still exists today in form microbial; for this the robot landed on the cráter Lake, believed to have formed an ancient delta and a lake about 250 meters deep ago billions of years, when the conditions of the planet allowed the presence of liquid water.
NASA scientists believe that sediments accumulated over millions of years in the delta and the lake bed could harbor biological evidence or even fossils of possible microbial life forms, so the mission of Perseverance – the largest and most advanced robot ever sent to Mars – will be to collect those samples and send them later than back to earth, something that is not expected until the year 2031.
In 2020, Lake Salda caught the attention of NASA for its resemblance to the Martian crater
In its mission, the Perseverance has nevertheless counted on an important help; and it is that in 2020 the similarities between the Jezero crater of Mars and the Salda lake of Turkey have already caught the attention of NASA scientists, for the geological and chemical similarities that they both have.
So much so that exobiologists from the US space agency believe that some minerals detected in the Martian crater are very similar to sediments in Lake Salda formed from the algae accumulation; In this way, if the NASA mission detected sediments of similar composition in the Jezero, its biological origin could be determined from forms of microbial life, such as microscopic algae, that once could exist on Mars.
Turkey’s own Minister of the Environment, Murat Kurum, recalled yesterday via Twitter the importance that this Turkish lake has had for the Mars 2020 mission. “Like NASA, we are eager to know the results of the study in the Jezero crater Kurum assured, after in another tweet the NASA say “No one has set foot in this crater, but we have some idea what we might find thanks to lake Salda in Turkey”.
In addition to its importance to NASA and to help find life on Mars, this crater lake in Burdur province is rightly called the “Maldives from Turkey”For their crystal clear turquoise waters and its white sand beaches, which makes it one of the most beautiful lakes in the world and a popular tourist destination in Turkey.