NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover is testing a new way to search for alien life, according to ANU astrophysicist and cosmologist Dr Brad Tucker.

“We’ve talked a lot about digging rocks and soil samples on Mars and one of the questions in hard bits is, well we can’t really take these samples easily back to a lab,” he told Sky News Australia.

“Well, Curiosity realised that if you save some samples and you dissolve them in a liquid, in an acid essentially, you can easier break up the soil samples and then measure what’s in that soil.”

Dr Tucker said instead of transporting them to a laboratory on Earth, Curiosity makes it “simpler to do on Mars”, and makes studying an area faster and easier.

“If you can analyse in the place you’re studying on Mars, you can inform are you finding those organic compounds, are you finding those signs of life that you want – and in fact this is exactly what happened,” he said.

“They found unique organic compounds; it’s not saying this is life but this is another piece of this puzzle.”

Recommended Posts

No comment yet, add your voice below!


Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *