The Ridge

Looking for Life on Mars

photo credit: mars.nasa.gov

photo credit: mars.nasa.gov

Jessica Townsend, Editor

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






NASA’s new rover is scheduled to land near Mars’s equatorial Jezero Crater in February 2021. This area is suspected to have once been a lake. The goal of the mission is to collect rock samples in order to look for signatures of microbes that used to live there.

Briony Horgan, from Purdue University, says that they will be looking for carbonate deposits, which precipitate out of water. In the process, “everything that’s living there can be trapped inside the mineral” (BBC).

In addition to the carbonate, rocks are also better preserved on Mars than on Earth. Unlike our home planet, Mars does not have tectonic plates that churn and recycle rocks, erasing traces of life. Ken Williford, from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory says, “paradoxically, it may well be that the older rocks on Mars are better preserved than much younger rocks on Earth.” If there was indeed life on Mars, it will be easy to find remains.

While searching for samples, the rover will also be gathering knowledge on the challenges of possible human expeditions to Mars. It will test “methods for producing oxygen from the Martian atmosphere, identifying other resources (such as subsurface water), improving landing techniques, and characterizing weather, dust, and other potential environmental conditions that could affect future astronauts living and working on Mars” (NASA).

The 2021 rover is similar to the 2012 Curiosity Rover, adding several upgrades. It will use the same sky-crane technique to reach the planets surface, but with greater accuracy, speed, and navigation.  The rover will collect up to 40 samples; however, NASA and ESA won’t be able to retrieve them until the early 2030’s.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
About the Writer
Jessica Townsend, writer/editor

Jessica Townsend is currently a sophomore at ARHS. This is her second year working on the school paper. She is presently an editor and writer of world...

Leave a Comment

Comments are moderated by editors of The Ridge Staff. Anything not deemed school appropriate will not be published.

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Left
  • Looking for Life on Mars

    News

    Rising Prices of Insulin

  • Looking for Life on Mars

    News

    SC Police Chief Arrested for Money Laundering

  • Looking for Life on Mars

    News

    2 killed, 1 injured in Alief, Houston

  • Looking for Life on Mars

    News

    BREAKING: Fire Starts In Berkeley Co. Mobile Home

  • Looking for Life on Mars

    News

    Vertical Forests Arrive in Toronto

  • Looking for Life on Mars

    News

    Stormy Daniels to Pay Trump’s Legal Fees

  • Looking for Life on Mars

    News

    ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’ Ban

  • Looking for Life on Mars

    News

    La Carreta Closed after 10 People Become Ill

  • Looking for Life on Mars

    News

    Former President, George H.W. Bush, Dies at 94

  • Looking for Life on Mars

    News

    California Wildfires in Drastic Condition

Navigate Right
The newspaper of Ashley Ridge High School!
Looking for Life on Mars