1. Curious About Life: Interview With Pan Conrad

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    From the oceans to the desert to the ice, Pan Conrad, deputy principle director for the SAM team, has searched for life in extreme environments. Credit: NASA

    In this interview, Pan Conrad, deputy principal investigator of the SAM team, explains how they will be studying the materials on the suface of Mars and trying to reconstruct the history of the planet. The SAM instrument on the Curiosity rover will detect both organic and inorganic compounds, and it will measure stable isotopes of key chemical elements as well, including carbon, oxygen, hydrogen and sulfur.

    According to Conrad, “At a fundamental astrobiological science level, the Mars Science Laboratory is trying to assess the past and present potential of the Martian environment to support life.”

    Source: [astrobio.net]