On July 09, 2013 NASA discussed their outline for the 2020 Mars Rover. Their focus will be primarily on looking for signs of past life on the red planet as well as collecting samples to bring back to Earth for analysis. The sample information could help with future manned missions to Mars as we would need to have a greater understanding of the resources available to us.
There are many hazards on the martian surface that must be better understood before we go sending our best to go walking around out there. Even the dust of Mars could be very dangerous to explorers, add into account the higher radiation levels and potential for wild weather and you could be in real trouble.
NASA’s 2020 mission aims to build on the tremendous success of Curiosity. The 2020 mission will not only look for signs of past life but also attempt to understand what it takes for life to take hold. NASA will also focus on how to use the resources on Mars to survive long periods of time on the planet. Creating oxygen, collecting carbon dioxide, and creating fuel are just a few examples of the engineering hurdles that the Mars 2020 mission could help us jump.
The Mars 2020 mission concept does not presume that life ever existed on Mars, however, given the recent Curiosity findings, past Martian life seems possible, and we should begin the difficult endeavor of seeking the signs of life. No matter what we learn, we would make significant progress in understanding the circumstances of early life existing on Earth and the possibilities of extraterrestrial life.” – Jack Mustard, chairman of the Science Definition Team and a professor at the Geological Sciences at Brown University in Providence, R.I.
Want a more in-depth look at the future plans for Mars Rover missions? The Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) offers a rich experience with the latest updates and multimedia.