Well, it is not a hidden fact that scientists around the world believe the possibility of life on Mars. The National Aeronautics Space Administration (NASA) has recently found evidence of water on Mars. So to confirm their latest theory, the Space agency is planning to deploy the Mars Curiosity Rover to search for potential sites of water bodies on the red planet.
Since 2012, the US space agency’s Curiosity Rover has been deployed on the red planet in hopes of finding life there. But for this mission, NASA will have to acquire planetary protection approval, so it can take an initial close-up photo with its camera to confirm the fact that water does exist on Mars.
The ‘darkish streaks’ present on Mars are considered as unique regions by the scientists so the rover will have to be extra careful and precaution must be taken to prevent contamination as the possibility of the presence of water is high on this sites.
Scientists confirmed the existence of liquid water on Mars last year, but there is no concrete proof till date. But if Curiosity Rover does find water presence on Mars, it would be one of the most important steps in proving that liquid water bodies do exist on the hot planet.
In an official press release NASA director, Jim Green said –
The process of driving a rover to the potential site is not as simple as it looks. Not only are the surface of Mars steep but at the same time, we have to make sure that planetary protection concerns are met. In simple words, we need to be careful not to harm the planet in any way.
Currently, the Curiosity Rover is ascending the slopes of Mount Sharp, along its way it has collected earth or dust samples for scientists in NASA to examine carefully. Now the rover is on a mission to search for water sites on the Red Planet. This mission will also help the scientists to understand how the water rich environment of Mars has become so dry.
Apart from Curiosity Rover collecting evidence on the red planet, scientists will also examine data from High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera, which is present on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). The data collected from both the spacecraft will help scientists explain and understand Mars.
Scientists will now have to wait for more than a year to prove the presence of liquid water on the red planet but the data gathered will help a lot in future missions to the planet.