In search of signs of life on Mars

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Mars once had liquid water and an atmosphere—was there life too? To answer this fundamental question, NASA is sending the Perseverance rover, a robot of unparalleled complexity

Motors & Drives

In search of signs of life on Mars
In search of signs of life on Mars
In search of signs of life on Mars
In search of signs of life on Mars

Mars missions may seem to be routine now, yet it’s still the case that only a few craft make it to the planet’s surface intact. The European Space Agency (ESA) had a painful demonstration of that in 2016 when their lander Schiaparelli smashed into pieces on the Red Planet. Nevertheless, US space agency NASA has already successfully brought four robotic vehicles to Mars in the past. And with the fifth rover Perseverance, which landed on Mars on February 18, 2021, history was made once again. For the first time, we on Earth were able to see live images of a Mars landing, supplied by high-resolution video cameras.

It will still take a while, however, before people land on Mars. This is why robots need to do the work for now, and Perseverance has quite a lot of it in store. She landed in the Jezero Crater, which was once filled with water, with the task of investigating whether the area was once habitable. At the same time, the rover will search for signs of earlier life, known as biosignatures. She is equipped with a variety of measuring instruments for this purpose.

Its third task is to pave the way for human missions with a technology demonstration: an instrument named MOXIE will extract oxygen from the small amount present in the Martian atmosphere. This technology would be crucial for human missions, as oxygen is not only required for breathing, but can also be used for making fuel.

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Posted on March 1, 2021 - (782 views)
Maxon International Ag
Brünigstrasse 220
6072 Sachseln - Switzerland
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maxon motor is the world's leading supplier of high-precision drive systems. More than 40 years' experience, constant innovation, top-quality products and competent customer service make maxon motor a reliable partner in the drive technology sector.

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