Were there plans to explore Mars in ancient rocks?  NASA is looking for clues

According to NASA, Mars exploration program leaders have collaborated with the Australian Space Agency, the European Space Agency and the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization. A group of scientists is currently participating in a field expedition in Australia to… Explore some of the world’s oldest evidence of life on Earth. The goal is to develop new methods that will be used in… Future exploration of Mars.

“This science mission was a great opportunity for NASA to work with our international partners to explore Mars,” said Eric Ianson, director of NASA’s Mars Exploration Program. Exploration of ancient Earth in relation to MarsWho may have had a similar past. The more we learn about the evolution of our planet, the better we can apply this knowledge to characterize the Red Planet.

The scientific expedition went to Pilbara in Western Australia. This is where the oldest remains of stromatolite and granite rocks, which are over three billion years old, were found. Stromatolites are rocks composed of layers of calcium carbonate, which are deposited from seawater as a side effect of cyanobacterial life.

This particular area is supposed to be on Earth A great testing ground for NASAWhere specialists and their robots will learn how to search for life. The knowledge gathered will be essential during future space missions.

Scientists point out that because of the ongoing geological processes that shape the Earth, it is extremely difficult to find stromatolites or other similar fossils. That’s why the formations in Western Australia are unique and an ideal place to conduct research related to space missions.

At the same time, experts believe that Some geological outcrops on Mars are the same age as the Pilbara region on Earth. As Scitechdaily wrote: “This makes the site a crucial proving ground for scientists and engineers to hone their skills in identifying signs of life in ancient environments.”

During the expedition to Australia, scientists considered the difficulties arising in… Looking for evidence of life in the past. At the same time, the use of currently used technologies for this type of challenge is analyzed in detail.

“To prove that a trait is biogenic, you have to not only prove that life can create it, but also prove that the trait was not created by something else.” You have to understand what else is going on in the historical geological record to understand what you’re looking at, adds Lindsay Hayes, deputy chief scientist for the Mars Sample Return Division and an astrobiology program specialist at NASA Headquarters.

Scientists also focused on identifying the ideal location for sampling, keeping this in mind geological context. Learning about the geology is crucial in determining whether a particular place in the past was conducive to the development of life or was unsuitable for it.

Analyzes performed on Earth mimic the procedure Lazika perseverancewhich examines the surface of Mars in the Jezero crater – analyzing samples that are estimated to be 3-3.5 billion years old.

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