Implications of Life
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.
© 2000 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
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