NASA Mars 2020 Rover To Hunt For Early Life Evidence

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NASA is gearing up for Mars exploration missions next year. Joining the mission is the Mars 2020 rover, which is similar to the Curiosity rover that is already exploring Mars. NASA says Mars 2020's rover has the same reach as Curiosity, but its turret weight is 45kg more as it'll carry larger instruments and a bigger drill for coring.

NASA Mars 2020 Rover To Hunt For Early Life Evidence

 

NASA Mars 2020 Packs Powerful Features

The Mars 2020 rover is built by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. The Curiosity rover is currently exploring Mars and searching for signs of ancient life. In comparison, the Mars 2020 rover is longer and heavier because of its tools, NASA said in a statement. Plus, its larger drill will cut intact rock cores and the samples will be placed in a complex storage system.

Some of the other features include 23 cameras packed on the rover (most of which are color ones). It also includes two microphones that would act as the 'ears' in capturing the sounds of its landing, the Martian winds, and also the sounds of the rover's chemical-analyzing laser zaps. NASA notes that rovers can't simply drive around on their own, but the Mars 2020 rover has more self-driving tech compared to the Curiosity.

Moreover, the Mars 2020 rover will also carry spacesuit samples that will enable scientists back home to study how they degrade. There will also be an oxygen generator that will test technology for astronauts to make their rocket fuel from the Martian atmosphere.

NASA Mars 2020 Rover To Hunt For Early Life Evidence

 

NASA Mars 2020 Mission

Earlier, NASA had sent two rovers Spirit and Opportunity, which dug up the evidence that Mars once had running water before it became frozen desert it is today. The Curiosity rover, sent in 2004, had a mission to search for life and 'follow the water' traits. Now, the Mars 2020 rover will explore a landscape shaped by water which is the 'Jezero Crater', the site of an ancient delta.

Also, the NASA Mars 2020 rover will take the next step and try to discover signs of past life or biosignatures. The rock and soil samples sent back to the Earth will be analyzed that could help in future missions and an in-depth study will be done says NASA.

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