Study: NASA’s equipment is insufficient to discover the existence of life on Mars

A new study warns that the current equipment of the American space agency, “NASA”, may have difficulty confirming any signs of the presence of ancient life on the surface of Mars.

In their study published in the journal “Nature”, international scientists expressed their recent concerns, after they conducted tests on soil and rocks in the Atacama Desert in Chile, which is one of the driest places on Earth, and one of the oldest deserts in the world.

Scientists often use the region – which is geologically similar to Mars – to conduct experiments, in order to improve research methods for Mars.

In its study, the scientific team tested a material from an area rich in fossils in the Atacama Desert called “Red Stone”, which was once a body of water, and now contains a large group of microorganisms called “microbes”, which are commonly studied in Searching for ancient life on Mars.

The researchers tested 4 research tools in the “red stone”, which are either used by NASA on Mars at the present time, or will be used in the future, and concluded that the tools were not able to establish a clear identification of many of the “signatures” or signs that are from Mars. would suggest the presence of “present and ancient microorganisms”.

They noted, explaining that the tools found “numerous” microbes of unknown classification, which scientists call the “dark microbiome”, and are of limited use in efforts to search for past life on Mars.

The study team said that the tests they conducted lead them to believe that the latest tools used by “NASA” on Mars “may not be sensitive enough” to effectively make discoveries about potential life on the “red planet.”

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They suggested that space agencies either place more sophisticated instruments on Mars, or return samples to Earth for closer examination, noting that such efforts would be necessary to “conclusively address whether life exists on Mars.”

It is noteworthy that “NASA” is currently running two roaming probes on the surface of Mars, the first is “Curiosity”, which searches in an area called “Mount Sharp” inside the “Gale” crater, and has been active on the surface of Mars since it landed on it in 2012, while The second is called “Perseverance”, and it continues to collect samples of rocks, soil and atmosphere in the “Jezero” crater since September 2021, and it is believed that both areas contained large bodies of water in the distant past.

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