NASA Rover Has Found Previously Unknown Organic Molecules on Mars

 


NASA’s flagship rover has located at least three previously unknown organic molecules on Mars. The molecule named “Mars 67P” represents a carbonaceous chondrite. This discovery came just hours after NASA chief Jim Bridenstine presented the latest future vision of humanity’s Mars expeditions which included acting as the first agency-wide mission director who will lead the continuous Martian exploration mission through to its completion.

Led by John Grotzinger of the SETI Institute, these organic substances are located in an area called Jezero Crater, on the red planet’s north-west. The expedition mission to the red planet is known as Mars 2021 and plans to land on Mars on May 25, 2021.

This new material has also formed within recent and still ongoing Martian surface drill experiments and into the mission’s Sample Collection and Return System Opportunity (SCARO) for it to be collected and put in its panoramic camera for images to be imaged for analysis.

“Mars offers extraordinarily rich and diverse biology, and we found organic molecules that exist on Mars tonight,” said John Grotzinger, lead of the MAVEN mission, who is currently at the Smith University’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston to collect new and pre-existing Martian samples that, if collected and returned, would help answer the question of whether or not we should send humans to Mars, said Werner Grundmann, program scientist for MAVEN, NASA said.

Mars 2020, the next Mars mission launched from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida earlier this year, is scheduled to land on July 8. Its primary job will be to capture samples to the Martian surface and return them to Earth.

At the close of NASA’s press conference, Bridenstine announced that the next mission Mars will take on its first assignment in 2023.

Under the plan, NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and Mars 2020 and Mars 2020 will both return the samples to Earth before all phases of operations are complete for the agency’s 2024 Martian departure on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V – Delta IV Heavy.

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