Curious Mars

Mars: June 2020

NASA has stepped closer to allowing remote onboard computers to direct the search for life on other planets.

Terrestrial planets provide Solar System insights into the evolution of accretion, core-mantle and crust-mantle differentiation, and surface processes. The Earth and Mars have equal enrichment in refractory elements (1.9 × CI), although the Earth is more volatile-depleted and less oxidized than Mars.

NASA's Perseverance Mars rover is just over a month from its July 20 targeted launch date. The rover's astrobiology mission will seek signs of past microscopic life on Mars, explore the geology of the Jezero Crater landing site, and demonstrate key technologies to help prepare for future robotic and human exploration.

The ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) was sent to Mars in March 2016 to search for trace gases diagnostic of active geological or biogenic processes.

There is growing evidence suggesting the presence of aqueous environment on ancient Mars, raising the question of the possibility of life in such an environment.

Mars shares many similarities and characteristics to Earth including various geological features and planetary structure. The remarkable bimodal distribution of elevations in both planets is one of the most striking global features suggesting similar geodynamic processes of crustal differentiation on Earth and Mars.

Two astronauts collected Moon rocks on Apollo 11. It will take three robotic systems working together to gather up the first Mars rock samples for return to Earth.