Definition of Life

Preliminary Steps
  Geological Survey
  Sample Collection

Present Life
  Spectroscopic Analysis
  Organic Analysis
  Biology Experiments

Past Life
  Thin Section
  Isotope Analysis


Experimental Design

Preliminary Steps

Several preliminary steps need to be taken before samples may be analyzed for the presence of life.  The first major step once the mission lands on Mars is to conduct a geological survey of the Martian surface.  This survey will teach us a lot about Mars, and will give us an indication about what locations are likely to contain life.  The next major step is sample collection.  This can be accomplished by a number of means, including using a drill to collect underground samples, and a cliffhanger rover to collect samples from cliff walls.  In addition, LMRs and human geologists will go on explorations of the Martian surface to collect samples.  They may perform brief experiments in the fields, and bring back interesting samples to the lab for further investigation .

Geological Survey
Details of the geological survey

Sample Collection
Details on sample collection

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Comments and questions to mission2004-students@mit.edu Last updated: 10 December, 2000