This is human trash on another planet. We've not had many successful missions to the surface of Mars, but those that do have already left the traces of mankind's indifference to the environment
, even 124 million miles away.
It turns out Earth is not the only planet humans are contaminating.
A new image snapped by NASA's Perseverance rover captures the sad reality of how we are already littering Mars with rubbish.
Engineers discovered a discarded thermal blanket which they said was used to protect the car-sized vehicle from extreme temperatures it experienced during landing.
'It's a surprise finding this here,' they said, as Perseverance's descent took place just over a mile away from where the debris was found.
The team added: 'Did this piece land here after that, or was it blown here by the wind?'
It is not the first time a bit of wreckage has been spotted on the Red Planet this year.
In April, the Ingenuity helicopter captured an image of the landing equipment used during its arrival with Perseverance in February last year.
A parachute and the cone-shaped backshell that protected the rover in space, as well as during its fiery descent toward the Martian surface, was seen in incredible detail.
The latest discovery comes amid growing concern about space junk, not only on other planets like Mars but closer to home, too.
Of course, we've been successfully reaching low Earth orbit for 65 years now, and every launch has left some kind of debris floating about. Sometimes it crashes back to Earth, but most of the time it does not. Given the changing technology, the 'most popular' places to park satellites often look like your favourite route out of the city on a Friday afternoon.
You can make all the jokes you want about "intelligent life" not contacting the Earth, but our actions speak louder than words. Interestingly enough, there is an actual scale to measure external planetary societies, developed by a Soviet scientist named Nikolai Kardeshev back in 1964.
Out of zero to five, we still have a long way to go.
A civilization that extracts its energy, information, raw-materials from crude organic-based sources (i.e. food/wood/fossil fuel/books/oral tradition); pressures via natural disaster, selection, and societal collapse creates extreme (99.9%) risk of extinction. In several cases societies that fail to improve social, environmental and medical understanding concurrently with other advancements, frequently accelerated their own extinction.
These civilizations are psychologically and socially unprepared for dealing with even fellow tiers of Type-0 civilizations, generally suffering social rioting, collapse or attempts at war. Contact between a Type-0 civilization and any other higher tier of civilization usually results in the eventual assimiliation and/or destruciton of the lower civilizations culture.