The Mars sample return mission was just detailed by NASA. However, it works on the premise that there is no evidence of life on Mars. That is not the case, and here’s why.
NASA’s Mars sample return mission, which aims to collect and return samples from the surface of Mars to Earth, is an ambitious and complex endeavor that would enhance our understanding of the planet. The mission is based on the premise that there is no evidence of current or past life on Mars, and its major goal is to search for signs of past habitability and the potential for preserving microbial life. However, recent discoveries and research have called into question whether this premise is still valid.
Recent missions to Mars have provided tantalizing evidence that the planet may have once been capable of supporting life. The rover mission, such as the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) and the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), have provided evidence of water on Mars as ice, as well as signs of ancient river channels, lakes, and even potential hydrothermal systems. This suggests that Mars may have once had conditions that could have supported life, and scientists have also found signs of organic compounds and methane in the Martian atmosphere, which could be produced by microbial life.
Despite these discoveries, it is important to note that the evidence for past or present life on Mars is still indirect and not yet conclusive. In order to confirm the existence of past or present life on Mars, scientists need to analyze samples collected from the Martian surface. The Mars sample return mission would allow scientists to study Martian samples on Earth, using a wide range of techniques that are not currently possible with remote sensing.
The Mars sample return mission comprises several steps, including the launch of a robotic spacecraft to Mars, which would land on the surface and collect samples. The spacecraft would then launch the samples into orbit around Mars, where they would be collected by a separate spacecraft, which would then bring the samples back to Earth.
They would study the returned samples in laboratories around the world, using a wide range of techniques, including microscopy, mass spectrometry, and DNA sequencing, to search for signs of past or present life on Mars. They would also analyze the samples for signs of past habitability, such as water, organic compounds, and minerals that are commonly associated with microbial life.
The NASA’s Mars sample return mission is an ambitious and complex endeavor that would enhance our understanding of the planet, but it is based on the premise that there is no evidence of life on Mars. However, recent discoveries and research have called into question whether this premise is still valid. There are strong indications that Mars might have had habitable conditions in the past and the samples returned by the mission could confirm or rule out the possibility of past or present life on Mars. The mission would be a milestone in the human quest to understand the potential of life in the universe.