NASA is in plans to drive its Curiosity Rover near the water sites on Mars. The main aim behind this decision is to investigate seasonally changing dark streaks briny water and find the proof of life.
Jim Green, the director of planetary science, said, “It is not as simple as driving a rover to a potential site and taking a scoop of soil.”
He continued to add, “Not only are these on steep slopes, we need to ensure that planetary protection concerns are met. In other words, how can we search for evidence of life without contaminating the sites with bugs from Earth?”
The Curiosity Rover would climb to the higher and younger strata on Mount Sharp to inspect on how the water areas found till now still exist as the rest of the planet dried out.
As the Curiosity Rover wanders on these destinations, it will capture the pictures of the water sites even from the miles away to check if any seasonally changing type.
Nasa said, “Planetary scientists think these gullies or recurring slope lineae (RSLs) may appear seasonally as a form of briny water at or near the surface of the Red Planet under warmer conditions.”
At the same time, the US space agency is also worried about how the rover could safely get to an RSL.
“In terms of coming much closer, we need to understand well in advance the potential for Earth organisms to come off the rover and that will tell us how far away the rover should stay,” said Catharine Conley, Nasa’s planetary protection officer.