How NASA Will Finally Confirm Life on Mars

Monday, 11 December 2017 - 12:24PM
Space
Mars
Alien Life
Yes
Monday, 11 December 2017 - 12:24PM
How NASA Will Finally Confirm Life on Mars
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Image credit: Pixabay
NASA is looking to bring a little bit of Mars back home to study.
 
It's no news the U.S. space agency has been roving and exploring the Red Planet for some time, but with all that has been uncovered, so far all the work and results have been achieved on Mars.
 
However, the NASA Mars 2020 mission aims to change all that—we'll finally be taking samples back to Earth for direct observation.

Of course, anyone who has read the Andromeda Strain probably winces at least a little bit at the prospect of importing Martian material straight from the tap, as it were, but know that NASA has worked all this out, and has protocols in place.

Samples will only be allowed for scientific analysis following a full determination that they are non-hazardous.

 
As for how the Mars 2020 rover will acquire its choices to send Earthward, the process includes an instrument known as an X-ray fluorescence spectrometer that will determine elemental composition, aided by a high-resolution imager to help zoom in on fine-scale surface materials.

In addition, the rover will pack a ground-penetrating radar imager that can look at subsurface geologic structures. 
 
The part that is perhaps the most maddening to those of us who would really like to see what science could uncover from an in-person examination of Martian soil and rock samples is that its not going to be the quickest of returns. Even rudimentary rocket science makes it clear that launching anything into space—be it from Earth, Mars or otherwise—is no easy feat.

The tech and financing that NASA would need to have samples sent back home by the 2020 mission just isn't in the cards, so instead the rover will be identifying and collecting rock and soil to check, and then storing it all for a future Mars mission to bring back home.
 
Science
NASA
Space
Mars
Alien Life
How NASA Will Finally Confirm Life on Mars
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Yes