General Mars
  Implications of Life

  Definition of Life
  Martian Meteorite

Data Analysis
  Thin Section Analysis
  Isotope Analysis
  Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer
  Infrared Spectroscopy
  Alpha-Proton X-Ray Spectrometer
  Detection of Carbon Complexes
  Labeled Release
  Gas Exchange
  Pyrolytic Release
  Stimulus Response Experiments

Scientific Research and Design

Sending a manned mission to Mars to look for life is fundamentally different than organizing an expedition to a remote corner of the globe to search for life. Besides being an enormous distance away from aid if an emergency occurs, the entire mission will take place in a climate alien to anything on Earth. There is no Earth analogue for the lower temperatures and pressures and aridity of Mars. Mars has a different climate than the earth: its atmosphere, gravity, solar radiation, and temperature are all a function of its further location from the sun and smaller planetary mass. To account for the harsh climate, we must make sturdy equipment capable of operating under Martian conditions.

Any evidence that life exists on Mars will have profound implications for our understanding of biochemistry and the evolution of our existence. 

mitCopyright © 2000 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Comments and questions to Last updated: 10 December, 2000