SHERLOCK and WATSON tools help NASA rover find evidence of life on Mars

SHERLOCK and WATSON tools will help NASA’s rover find evidence of life on Mars. Both were recently installed on the Perseverance rover and have been successfully tested, the space agency said.

In recent years, astronomers have found a lot of evidence that in ancient times there were rivers on Mars, and hence water in liquid form. Scientists believe that they contained about the same amount of water as the Arctic Ocean now contains. If there was water in liquid form on the planet, it means that it had to have the simplest organic molecules – the building blocks of life.

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The Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover mission should be launched in July 2020. It is assumed that the descent module with Mars rovers will land on the planet in the summer of 2021. It will include two rovers, the likely landing site of which will be the Sirte Plateau and the Jesero Crater, located 28 km from each other.

Research vehicles will need to take soil samples in the vicinity of the landing sites to determine if there were living conditions for microbes on Mars.

In addition to robotic hands, two tools will be responsible for the fence and soil analysis. The SHERLOC microparticle analyzer is mounted at the end of the robot arm and will work in tandem with WATSON, a camera that will record rock textures in close-up.

Together, they will study the surface of the rocks, mapping the presence of certain minerals and organic molecules, which are the building blocks of life, the mission said.

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Author: John Kessler
Graduated From the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Previously, worked in various little-known media. Currently is an expert, editor and developer of Free News.
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