Next Generation Mars Rover Will Have Tools to Search for Life in the Past

NASA has announced the features it has included in the next Mars rover, the robot that will run on six wheels and will carry out interesting experiments on the red planet. The new NASA rover will have super laser and stereo vision. The rover will have a skeleton similar to Curiosity as it is stable and has been tested on different terrains on the red planet.

The Mars 2020 rover will be searching for any direct signs of life on Mars, also termed as bio-signatures. The rover will be equipped with tools to search for actual traces of life on the red planet, in the past.

Powered with a high definition camera termed as Mastcam-Z, the rover will have stereo vision and the ability to zoom. Curiosity covered the largest distance on planet Mars this month and NASA plans to take this even further in the new rover. The new rover is expected to cover longer distances at a time and will help scientists create a detailed map of the terrain on the red planet.

John Grunsfeld, head of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate that with high resolution images and much better mapping, it will be as if we are on Mars, not just the rover. The laser shooter will enable the rover to examine rocks with near-infrared light.

Mars 2020 rover will have additional experiments as well which will help NASA scientists to plan the human mission to the red planet. The rover will also evaluate the environment of Mars and study what is beneath the surface.

"All of this leads to picking out those rocks that we want to core and cache and potentially bring back to Earth," said Michael Meyer, lead scientist for the Mars Exploration Program.