Has NASA’s Curiosity rover taken dormant microbes to Mars?A theoretical instrument that would search for individual microbes on the surface of Mars.
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NASA's Curiosity rover carries a mass spectrometer as part of the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument. SAM is made up of three different instruments that search for and measure organic chemicals and light elements that are important ingredients potentially associated with life.NASA
The complexity index in the study could be useful in analyzing data from the instrument NASA is providing for European Space Agency's Rosalind Franklin rover. The Mars Organic Molecule Analyzer (MOMA) instrument will be capable of detecting a wide variety of organic molecules.ESA
Sept. 2, 2021
Program News

Universal Life Detection: Astrobiology & Assembly Theory

Researchers supported in part by the NASA Astrobiology Program have experimentally tested a method that could aid in the search for life… including life as we don’t know it. Astrobiologists used molecular assembly theory to develop an index that can help sort complex molecules based on the probability of life being involved in their assembly. The method was tested in the laboratory using mass spectrometry on a wide variety of samples.

For more information, watch the video below, or visit the NASA Astrobiology YouTube channel.

The study, “Identifying molecules as biosignatures with assembly theory and mass spectrometry,” was published in the journal Nature Communications.