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NASA scales back hunt for life on Mars

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NASA scales back hunt for life on Mars

Post  Jackie (Admin) on Sat Feb 18, 2012 1:38 am

"NASA scales back hunt for life on Mars
11:45 14 February 2012 by David Shiga

Is there life on Mars? We might not find out for some time. The search has hit a major hurdle because NASA has cancelled plans for ambitious new missions to the Red Planet.

NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) were planning a pair of joint missions to Mars that could have made important strides in the search for past or present life.

The ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter, which was to launch in 2016, would have followed up on hints of methane discovered in the Martian atmosphere by previous missions. The gas is of particular interest as it is commonly produced by microbes on Earth.

The ExoMars rover, which had been slated for launch in 2018, would have drilled beneath the Martian surface to get samples of pristine material, possibly including complex carbon-based molecules that could have provided clues to past Martian life..."

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Jackie (Admin)

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