NASA's Next Mars Rover Will Search for Signs of Life
By Mike Wall
NASA's next Mars rover should hunt for signs of past Red Planet life and collect samples for eventual return to Earth, a team of mission planners announced recently.
The new Mars rover — slated to launch in 2020 — should explore a site that once was habitable, make its own observations and snag material for scientists here on Earth to study in unprecedented detail at some point in the future, according to a new report compiled by the mission's "science definition team" (SDT).
"The SDT-preferred mission concept employs new in situ scientific instrumentation in order to seek signs of past life (had it been there), select and store a compelling suite of samples in a returnable cache and demonstrate technology for future robotic and human exploration of Mars," states the report, which was released to the public today (July 9). . . .
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