This pixel image of NASA's Webb Telescope was created using a vintage Macinstosh computer.James Lovelock (University of Oxford) speaking during the “Seeking Signs of Life” Symposium, celebrating 50 Years of Exobiology and Astrobiology at NASA, Thursday, Oct. 14, 2010, at the Lockheed Martin Global Vision Center in Arlington, Va.On February 29, 2012, Nichelle Nichols visited NASA Goddard to give a keynote speech for an event to commemorate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and to recognize African-American History Month.Petri dishes containing cultures of ancient DNA molecules are pictured in the research lab of Betül Kaçar, assistant professor of bacteriology, in the Microbial Sciences Building at the University of Wisconsin–Madison on Oct. 21, 2021.
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In Memoriam: James LovelockJames Lovelock, who helped NASA develop life-detection-technologies, has passed away.02/04
In Memoriam: Nichelle NicholsThe NASA Astrobiology Program mourns the loss of one of our most precious national treasures, Nichelle Nichols.03/04
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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.

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