CHENNAI: Scientists have always been obsessed with examining the atmosphere and geography of Mars. A recent NASA laboratory experiment suggests that to detect any signs of alien life, scientists may need to develop a new approach.
The experiment indicates that the Rovers will need to drill at least 6.6 feet or more beneath Mars' surface in order to uncover any signs of life. The Rovers can detect amino acid residues at that depth, which is a clear sign that there once was life on the red planet.
However, over time, the study believes that any proof of life has been damaged by cosmic rays on Mars.
According to the study, which was published in the journal Astrobiology, the evidence for life on Mars may be deteriorating more quickly than previously thought by scientists.
"Our results suggest that amino acids are destroyed by cosmic rays in the Martian surface rocks and regolith at much faster rates than previously thought," Alexander Pavlov of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Centre in Greenbelt, Maryland said according to a report on Interesting Engineering.
“Current Mars rover missions drill down to about two inches (around five centimetres). At those depths, it would take only 20 million years to destroy amino acids completely. The addition of perchlorates and water increases the rate of amino acid destruction even further,"
"Missions with shallow drill sampling have to seek recently exposed outcrops – e.g., recent micro craters with ages less than 10 million years or the material ejected from such craters," he added.