Curiosity’s Search for Organics
The last time an astrobiology mission landed on Mars, the nation was celebrating the Bicentennial and Gerald Ford was president. In the coming days, the rover Curiosity will land on Mars to begin what is once again an astrobiology mission. By design it won’t involve life-detection – it has neither the tools nor the level of sterilization needed for that – but it was assembled to look for the carbon-based building blocks of Martian life and to explore the possible habitats where life might once have existed.
The main instrument for the rover’s astrobiology research is the gold-plated Sample Analysis on Mars, which includes three complex lab tools and is the largest and heaviest (at 88 pounds) on Curiosity.
- Could ‘Green Rust’ Be a Catalyst for Martian Life?
- The Order of Genes
- Carotenoids Through Time
- Amino Acids in Chondrites
- Calculating the Conductance of Ion Channels
- Diversity and Distribution Around Hydrothermal Vents
- Prebiotic Glycerol in Interstallar Ice
- Is There Methane on Mars? III: Revenge of the Cows
- Astrobiology Researcher Awarded Paleontological Society Medal
- Astrobiology at the Cartoon Art Museum