Exobiology and Solar System Exploration: Habitability on Early Mars and the Search for Biosignatures with the ExoMars Rover

September 4, 2020 6:00 - 7:30

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The second ExoMars mission will be launched in September 2022 to MARS Oxia Planum, selected location interpreted to have strong potential for past habitability and for preserving physical and chemical biosignatures (as well as abiotic/prebiotic organics). The mission will deliver a lander with instruments for atmospheric and geophysical investigations and a rover tasked with searching for signs of extinct life. The ExoMars rover will be equipped with a drill to collect material from outcrops and at depth down to 2 m. This subsurface sampling capability will provide the best chance yet to gain access to chemical biosignatures. Using the powerful Pasteur payload instruments, the ExoMars science team will conduct a holistic search for traces of life and seek corroborating geological context information.

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