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If we look at the vast size and age of the universe
Its nearly impossible for their not be extraterrestrial
Life out there. But it may be hundrads or
Even thousand years before we have the technology to visit
other stars to find aliens
That’s why scientists are also focusing on searching
for life within our solar system and it’s craziest
as it sounds. We may actually have a shot at finding .
While we may not know of any alien life living on mars
For the past 22 years, mars has had several
robotic inhabitants and behind me is replica
of the curiosity rover. The precursor to the
upcoming mars 2020 rover.
Launching in July of 2020 with the expected touchdown on February 2021
The 2020 rover has four key science objectives
The first of which is to determine weather the life ever existed on mars
and the first step to achieving this objective is focused around water
which is why NASA have chosen the Jezero crater as the
landing site for mars 2020.
Though is currently presumed to be too cold to have liquid water.
several billion years ago, Mars was once a warm,
watery world and mission scientists believed the 45 kilometer
wide general crater was once home to an ancient River Delta.
They believe that landing the 2020 rover
in an area where water is sediments once flowed,
gives us the best chance to discover Martian rocks
that preserved ancient organic molecules,
and other potential signs of microbial life known as bio signatures.
2020 is the next rover destined to land on the surface Mars
and our primary objective is to be the first step
in Mars sample return, Our rover will actually collect
samples from the surface will store them into little test tube like devices
will drop them on the ground and a subsequent mission, will it come pick
those samples up, launch them off the surface of Mars, send them back to Earth to actually
be able to have known rocks in our scientists hands that came from the surface Mars,
they’re going to be able to do science at a whole new level.
So What are the some of the challenges that come with this different environments the rover has to be in,
I think the actual biggest challenge we have ahead of us is that the materials
and the hardware we used to collect this very pristine, gotta be sterile, so that when it brings samples
back from Mars, we know it’s material from Mars, not necessarily material that we brought to Mars with us.
This is a replica of the Mars Curiosity rover.
This is what a lot of the hardware is going to be based on the new Mars 2020 rover.
this is so cool,
it’s big, you don’t realize how big of a payload they have to send all the way to a different planet.
There’s a lot of really cool features about this rover.
Over here, there’s something that looks like a makeup palette.
That’s actually for color reference.
So when the rover takes photos on the surface of Mars,
we have a reference we know from back here on Earth, so
Then check the colors and figure out exactly what the colors look like on Mars a surface.
Even if it turns out that there was never life on Mars, there’s at least one other place
in our solar system that may hold the key to life.
Jupiter’s icy six moon, Europa surface is smoother than any solid object we’ve ever seen in our solar system.
Scientists are confident that this smoothness is due to an extremely deep ocean
of liquid water just underneath its frozen surface.
And if it’s proven to be true,
it would be an ocean twice the size of all of Earth’s oceans combined.
To study this, NASA is working on launching the Europa Super mission in 2023.
Simply answer to why Europa is we believe it has liquid water ocean.
One thing Earth is always taught us anywhere we found water in a liquid state.
We found life.
So, We need to chase the water.
but an ocean of water on its own is enough to produce life because
while water may be necessary to facilitate living organisms, life also requires energy
in order to power biological processes like maintaining cellular structures, growing and reproducing.
living organisms need to extract energy from their environment.
Here on Earth.
Most living things, including humans, depend directly or indirectly on the energy of the sun.
But there are also organisms that exist without the energy of the sun and
instead thrive in high pressure near freezing temperatures and pitch black darkness
these creatures harvest their energy from chemical sources,
such as like that feeds from hydrothermal activity on the ocean floor.
And This could be the key to life on places like Europa
it’s likely that the title squeezing from Jupiter’s gravitational field
provides the energy to keep your robust ocean liquid,
but we also believe that this energy could be causing volcanic activity or hydrothermal vents on Europa sea floor.
If this is true, this could be infusing the liquid water with the energy and
nutrients needed to support life below Europa’s ice surface
and so we’ve done a flyby as of Jupyter before
what is upgraded, as far as what we’re going to be able to analyze on Europa
so, those tiny instruments will gonna have four remote sensing instruments
essentially cameras and different wavelengths, we have 4 In-Situ which means
things that sniffs test and sense certain characteristics of Europa
we have dual frequency Ice penetrating radar and then the last thing is
the gravity science experiments using Doppler signals
and radio tracking has closest approach for number of flybys
we can start teasing out the gravitational variations
we’re trying to answer this age old question right ever since we’ve looked up at the stars
there always been . Are we along?
and we’re getting to the point where we can start to actually
with robotic missions answer that question
As scientists look for more clues out in the solar system and beyond.
We might have to redefine what it means to be alive.
We have to be open defining clues. So alien we may not even immediately recognize them
life on Mars or Europa or planets and moons outside of our solar system may not be familiar
And now that we have evolved into curious beings, looking out at the universe
one of our prime goals is find anyone or anything that’s also alive
and prove definitively that Earth is not the only place in the universe filled with life
Now that you’ve learned about the search for life in the solar system
check out Joe on it’s okay to be smart to learn what we’ll need to do to find intelligent life beyond our solar system.
Thank you to Draper and its hack the moon initiative for supporting PBS Digital Studios
You know the story of the astronauts who landed on the moon
Now You can visit we hack the moon.com
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hack the moon chronicles the engineers and technologies behind the Apollo missions.
Brought to you by Draper The site is full of images, videos and stories about the people
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PBS is bringing you the universe with the summer of space
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