NASA's Mars 2020 rover to search for signs of past microbial life on the red planet
NASA's Mars 2020 rover to search for signs of past microbial life on the red planet in what could shed more light on the red planet, Mars; NASA scientists have discovered what may be one of the best places to look for signs of ancient life.
The agency which is set to send its rover next year to the red planet has found that Jezero Crater, where the rover will land on February 18, 2021; can show some signs of ancient life, according to a paper published in the journal Icarus.
It identifies distinct deposits of minerals called carbonates along the inner rim of Jezero, the site of a lake more than 3.5 billion years ago.
On Earth, carbonates help form structures that are hard enough to survive in fossil form for billions of years, including seashells, coral and some stromatolites -- rocks formed on this planet by ancient microbial life along ancient shorelines, where sunlight and water were plentiful. Mars rover to search for signs of past microbial life
Mars 2020 is NASA's next-generation mission with a focus on astrobiology. It will search for actual signs of past microbial life, taking rock core samples that will be deposited in metal tubes on the Martian surface. Future missions could return these samples to Earth for deeper study.