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Mars rovers to focus on the search for life

Posted on Friday, 18 August, 2017 | Comment icon 4 comments

Mars 2020 will be very similar to Curiosity. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Two upcoming Mars rover missions will attempt to determine if the Red Planet was once home to life.
Mars will see two new visitors heading in its direction in 2020, ESA's ExoMars rover and NASA's Mars 2020 rover. Both will be bringing along arrays of sophisticated instrumentation designed to establish whether or not the planet was ever home to extraterrestrial life.

NASA's new rover will also be gathering rock samples and leaving them inside sealed titanium tubes so that a future mission can retrieve them and take them back to Earth for further study.

"Mars 2020 represents a crucial first step towards a possible Mars sample return," said Dr Ken Williford. "Our objective is to collect a diverse set of samples from our landing site with the best potential to preserve records of the evolution of Mars - including the presence of life if it was there."

"We'll use our onboard instruments to provide the critical field context that future scientists would need to understand the measurements made back on Earth."

ExoMars, meanwhile, will be carrying with it what is known as the "Pasteur analytical laboratory", a set of instruments with which it will scour the surface of Mars for ancient biosignatures.

It goes without saying that if either mission actually does manage to find evidence of ancient alien life on Mars, it will be one of the most significant scientific discoveries of all time.

Source: Sky News | Comments (4)

Tags: Mars, Life

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by qxcontinuum on 19 August, 2017, 3:06
funny that this was also curiosity's mission... so it failed i guess and 6 more billion dollars are needed ?
Comment icon #2 Posted by bison on 19 August, 2017, 17:35
Curiosity was intended to confirmthat Mars was oncefit for life. It accomplished that goal, establishing that the appropriate sort of watery environment persisted for a long time. Among the more interesting activities that ESA's ExoMars will pursue isdrilling up to two meters below the surface, to look for signs of past life. Because of radiation at the surface, underground life is considered more likely. It will also scan for methane from orbit, and take data intended to distinguish between geological and biological sources of that gas. If it could be shown that the methane on Mars comes... [More]
Comment icon #3 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 20 August, 2017, 17:32
You really should learn to actually read the stuff you link to particularly when your own "evidence" totally contradicts the falsehoods you are posting. The very first paragraph of the article you linked to says: Later there is this, which unequivocally proves your case wrong: (my emphasis) So Mars Curiosity is a resounding success and it is your post that is the total failure. It is precisely BECAUSE Mars Curiosity was a success in proving that conditions on Mars could have supported life that rovers are now being built to find out if life was or is present. Science works by the steady accu... [More]
Comment icon #4 Posted by I'mConvinced on 11 September, 2017, 15:27
Nope. That 6 billion dollars will be used to help keep the earth flat and hollow.

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