A hole in the ice sits in the center of the image. The ice glows red due to the color of the tent covering the hole. A yellow and red cable extends down into the hole.The thin line of Earth's atmosphere and the setting sun are featured in this image photographed by the crew of the International Space Station while space shuttle Atlantis on the STS-129 mission was docked with the station.Panoramic view of the rust-colored martian surface from Curiosity. The sky is a hazy pink.NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope sits inside Chamber A at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston after having completed its cryogenic testing on Nov. 18, 2017.
Icefin Dives Below the Antarctic Ice ShelfAn unprecedented view under the ice.01/04
Resurrecting the Ancient Mechanism of Nitrogen FixationLife's early access to inorganic nitrogen02/04
Ripples on MarsNASA’s Curiosity Finds Surprise Clues to Mars’ Watery Past03/04
A New Method to Detect Exoplanet Atmospheres with WebbUsing the Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) instrument04/04
Go Explore
Astrobiology Field SitesResearch LocationsExplore Field Sites in More DetailExplore
Illustration of the Perseverance rover arriving on Mars.

NASA's Mars 2020 mission is the next step in NASA's long-term robotic exploration of Mars. The rover Perseverance will provide important data relevant to astrobiology research, along with a vast amount of geological information about the landing site and the planet at large that will help put the astrobiological data into context.

Perseverance will not be looking for organisms living on Mars today. However, the rover will collect data that could be used to identify biosignatures of ancient microbial life.

What really sets this mission apart is that Perseverance will be collecting a suite of samples to be returned to Earth via a Mars Sample Return mission. The opportunity to bring back samples from another planet will allow our researchers to interrogate them with all of the sophistication and thoroughness that Earth-based instrumentation provides.

Learn more