Scientists are hard at work on the Mars 2020 mission, a critical step to further understanding the planet that could become man's second home.
Work has begun on the next Mars roveor mission set to fly to the Red Planet in 2020. Known as Mars 2020, it will be the most important mission there yet, and will be tasked with looking for signs of ancient life that may have lived on the planet long ago.
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory have begun to build the Mars 2020 rover that would launch in 2020 and arrived in early 2021. The rover will carry seven instruments that would collect samples of soil and rock, with a design similar to that of the Curiosity rover that has been operating on Mars in 2020. The hardware will be about 85 percent similar.
And it will be a major step as mankind hopes to learn more about the planet and its history in advance of sending a human colony to the Red Planet sometime in the 2030s or so, although SpaceX founder Elon Musk wants to do it much earlier than that. Mars 2020 would focus on a region of Mars where liquid water once flowed.
“The Mars 2020 rover mission is part of NASA’s Mars Exploration Program, a long-term effort of robotic exploration of the Red Planet,” NASA says on its website. “The Mars 2020 mission addresses high-priority science goals for Mars exploration, including key questions about the potential for life on Mars. The mission takes the next step by not only seeking signs of habitable conditions on Mars in the ancient past, but also searching for signs of past microbial life itself. The Mars 2020 rover introduces a drill that can collect core samples of the most promising rocks and soils and set them aside in a “cache” on the surface of Mars. A future mission could potentially return these samples to Earth.”