Life on Mars? NASA’s Perseverance probe begins an unprecedented search for signals

  • Jonathan Amos
  • BBC News Science Reporter

Persevere on Mars

credit, NASA / JPL-Caltech / MSSS

Illustrative image,

The perseverance probe drills rocks and stores samples for analysis after returning to Earth

NASA’s Persevering spacecraft has reached a key moment in its mission to Mars. On Tuesday (17/5), the six-wheeled robot will begin climbing an ancient delta into the crater where it has landed.

It will roll uphill, pausing every now and then to examine rocks that seem to bear signs of past life on this planet.

On the way back, Perseverance will collect some of these rocks, and place the samples at the base of the delta to be retrieved on later expeditions. The goal is to return this material to Earth in 2030 for further analysis.

“The delta in Jezero Crater is the main astrobiological target for persistence,” Katie Stack Morgan, deputy project scientist, told the BBC.

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