The team of leading scientists from NASA is exploring Atacama Desert located at Chile known for its most dry and arid environment on the planet Earth. The researchers work day and night at 90 plus degrees and discovered that the Atacama Desert conditions are very similar to that of planet Mars.
All together with geological and soil mineralogy research at Atacama Desert suggests life exists in the form of primitive microbes living inside rocks and underground and thus adapting to the extremely dry condition persisting since millions of years. These evidences could be related to the planet Mars that is similarly exposed to surface dryness and extensive radiation over a period of time. The robotic explorers are also being part of the research team in investigating the tiny ancient life forms to keep up with pioneering the Mars.
It is more convenient in terms of making available resources to be utilized at its best to study the planet conditions through this way rather than spending millions on planning, creating and executing the task of sending, as well as monitoring the satellite drone to the planet Mars. Starting with robot named Hyperion in 2003 to Zoe they are being deployed in exploring the remote desert by means of spectrometric and microscopic biosensors developed by Carnegie Mellon’s Molecular Biosensor and Imaging Center. Together with human and robotic explorers much is known now which was previously couldn’t even thought of. The existence of microbes as a life form became evident when Hyperion collected some of high-resolution images under rocks and then was the time human explorers noticed the presence of life.
The project is doing well after mapping the habitats and niche of primitive microbes in addition to desert area documenting how the life originated and how it is being modified in long span of time. This prepares a draft in taking the project to next phase of the study in understanding the unambiguous life that is existing on the planet Mars. The Mars explorers are in the quest to discover life on Mars and they will succeed in doing so by knowing some of the humanity’s fundamental answers to the question of is theirs life beyond planet Earth?
Next, the discovery of life forms on the other planet was a long time aim after the discovery of solar system, which indeed will overcome the crisis of water, food and overall resource crisis which planet earth will be facing in near future and serve the precious humankind better.
Article by Vaishali.