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Odds of finding life on Mars by 2021 are '50/50'


Posted on Saturday, 27 October, 2018 | Comment icon 22 comments

Will ExoMars discover evidence of life on the Red Planet ? Image Credit: ESA
Scientists developing Europe's new ExoMars rover are optimistic about its chances of finding life on Mars.
Unlike previous missions which have focused mainly on rocks and surface soil, ESA's upcoming excursion to the Red Planet will dig down in to the ground to look for evidence of life.

The new rover, which is due to launch in 2020 and will arrive on Mars the following year, is being equipped with special drilling instruments as well as lasers that can pick up the presence of DNA.

"The chances are just about 50/50," said team astrobiologist Dr Susanne Schwenzer.

"We are going to a very, very interesting spot."

Over the course of seven months, the solar-powered rover will carefully examine samples of soil collected from below the ground to look for evidence that life exists (or once existed) on Mars.

"It's not like driving a car," said rover operator Mark Shilton. "There's quite a complex software chain involved and it's extremely slow and methodical. The challenge is that often the most interesting locations for the geologists are the hardest for the rover."

If the rover actually does find evidence of life on Mars - even if it died out millions of years ago - it will undoubtedly be one of the most important discoveries in human history.

This mission will definitely be one to watch.

Source: Independent.ie | Comments (22)

Tags: Mars, Life, ExoMars

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #13 Posted by sci-nerd on 27 October, 2018, 22:55
Even if they find nothing, there will be stuff to talk about, my dear Dr Watson
Comment icon #14 Posted by Dejarma on 27 October, 2018, 22:56
what rocks & stuff? oh joy
Comment icon #15 Posted by sci-nerd on 27 October, 2018, 22:58
About †
Comment icon #16 Posted by Dejarma on 27 October, 2018, 23:37
Comment icon #17 Posted by freetoroam on 27 October, 2018, 23:47
Finding life does not mean finding walking talking intelligent life. Any life form is life. We were not the first life on this planet, so are your forces responsible for all the life which was here before us too and were the dinosaurs super crazy lucky until they got wiped out?† They will be looking underground on Mars....50/50 chance some life form could be there.
Comment icon #18 Posted by sci-nerd on 27 October, 2018, 23:53
Yes. And I am waiting for us to be wiped out as well. The universe HATES life!
Comment icon #19 Posted by freetoroam on 28 October, 2018, 0:27
The Universe supports life, hence why the planet Earth is teaming with it.†within our solar system there could be other life forms, †50/50 chance.†
Comment icon #20 Posted by Alien Origins on 28 October, 2018, 10:22
I think this is what folks believe when they hear life on Mars....They are expecting this type of life.
Comment icon #21 Posted by Amanda Evans on 29 October, 2018, 22:01
It will probably be a god awful small affair.
Comment icon #22 Posted by joc on 30 October, 2018, 4:49
The chances of any life found on Mars according to Logic are...Zero.†


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