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Was There Once Life On Mars?  Our Perseverance Rover Aims to Find Out

Was There Once Life On Mars?  Our Perseverance Rover Aims to Find Out

Our Perseverance mission is set to launch on Thursday, July 30 and could help answer many longstanding astrobiology questions about Mars. The mission will deliver our Perseverance rover to the Martian surface, and this powerful rover is equipped with a multitude of tools to study the planet’s environment and to answer questions about whether or not the Red Planet could have had life in the past.

Was There Once Life On Mars?  Our Perseverance Rover Aims to Find Out

In preparation for launch, our Astrobiology Program is releasing a new update to Issue #2 of the graphic history series, Astrobiology: The Story of our Search for Life in the Universe. This new, fourth edition tells the tale of our exploration of Mars in relation to astrobiology.

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The history of our exploration of Mars is full of struggle and triumph. Mars is a dangerous and difficult planet to visit, with frigid temperatures, damaging dust storms, low gravity, and a thin atmosphere. Despite the challenges, NASA missions have opened our eyes to a world that was much more Earth-like in its past, with environments that contained all the necessary conditions for life as we know it.

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Issue #2 tells the complete history of our endeavours on Mars, from the Mariner missions to Viking and Pathfinder to Curiosity. In this fourth edition, you’ll find  details on the Perseverance rover and its journey to search for ancient signs and signatures of life that could once and for all tell us whether or not life gained a foothold on the ancient Red Planet.

Was There Once Life On Mars?  Our Perseverance Rover Aims to Find Out

Perseverance will also drill into Martian rocks and collect samples that will one day be returned to Earth by a future Mars Sample Return mission. The samples will be stored in special containers and carefully ‘cached’ in a location on Mars where they will be easily accessible for retrieval. These samples will allow astrobiologists to perform detailed experiments that robots are not yet able to undertake remotely.

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Visit astrobiology.nasa.gov/graphic-histories/ to download the new edition of Astrobiology: The Story of our Search for Life in the Universe, and read the entire series to explore NASA’s astrobiology journey to understand the origin and evolution of life on Earth, and the potential for life elsewhere in the Universe!

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