Mars 2020 Rover To Search For Signs Of Past Life

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New York: According to a new study, the landing site of the Mars 2020 rover that NASA plans to launch next year could preserve signs of ancient life on the Red Planet.

As per reports, a study published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, the rover’s Jezero crater landing site is home to deposits of hydrated silica, a mineral that just happens to be particularly good at preserving biosignatures.

“Using a technique we developed that helps us find rare, hard-to-detect mineral phases in data taken from orbiting spacecraft, we found two outcrops of hydrated silica within Jezero crater,” said the study’s lead author Jesse Tarnas, a PhD student at Brown University in Rhode Island, US.

“We know from Earth that this mineral phase is exceptional at preserving microfossils and other biosignatures, so that makes these outcrops exciting targets for the rover to explore,” Tarnas said.

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