Alien life is a popular science fiction trope. However, what if it’s not fiction at all? There’s a lot of space out there that has gone undiscovered, so it would be naive to consider that Earth is the only planet that has life on it. With new rovers heading to Mars, scientists warn that we are not prepared to learn that there may be alien life on the red planet.
Over the past few years, NASA has been working to learn more about Mars. As the chief scientist warns, we might not be prepared for what we actually find.
Dr. Jim Green believes that we could be overwhelmed by what the various studies produce. This is all as two rovers from the European Space Agency and NASA prepare to embark on the planet next summer.
The potential discoveries are being compared to what Nicolaus Copernicus discussed during the Renaissance era. Copernicus hypothesized that the earth revolves around the sun instead of the sun revolving around the earth. Many people thought that he was mad. However, it was his model that helped to revolutionize science in the 16th century. It also caused him to be condemned by the Roman Catholic Church because of how the model went against the doctrines as they related to astronomy.
Copernicus was responsible for causing the world to look at science in a different way. It caused people to create a whole new way of thinking.
That’s what life on Mars could result in, too. NASA scientists worry about what they’ll find because it’s going to cause people to rethink what they know about space and the unknown. Dr. Jim Green says that he believes they’re close to finding it and making announcements.
NASA will be launching Mars 2020 while the ESA will be launching ExoMars Rover. They’re going to drill about six and a half feet into the core of Mars so that samples can be taken. The hope is that these samples will provide evidence of life.
Samples will be processed and examined in a mobile lab. The goal is to find some kind of trace of organic material.
The ESA’s rover is already assembled and heading into testing. Legs and wheels will help it to maneuver on the red planet and obtain all of the needed samples.
If there are any biosignatures of life found on the crust of Mars, it will establish a new level of astrobiology. It will lead to even more questions including how life is like life on earth and what the relations are. After that, there will be the question of whether it’s possible to move from planet to planet or if there is a specific chemical environment on a planet that only allows certain types of life to thrive.
The trek to mars is 140 million miles away. NASA will be launching the Mars 2020 rover next July so that it can land on the Jezero Crater of the red planet by February 2021. This means that it will take approximately seven months for the rover to travel that amount of distance before any real research can begin.
The rovers have been built to collect an unprecedented amount of data. This includes visual data and images of the terrain on Mars. The Mars 2020 will be equipped with a detachable helicopter drone as well as two high-definition cameras. The amount of information will allow scientists to comb over the data for years to examine all sorts of information.
All of this, too, is based on the assumption that the life on Mars would be carbon-based like it is on Earth. There is always the possibility that the samples will yield other results, too.
There have already been some details captured from previous missions. An ancient stream was discovered on Mars, with many believing that it once flowed with water. The Mars 2020 will collect samples to make it easier to know if it was, in fact, water that used to flow on the planet.
While many scientists will pass off the mission in 2020 as purely scientific, the basic mission is simple: Find signs of life. This means that the rovers, while still producing amazing photos of the cliffs and caverns of Mars, will also be collecting rock so that they can identify if there are any biosignatures –also known as signs of life.
NASA believes that they’re only a mission a way of finding civilizations existing on other planets, and the mission to Mars is a great place to start.