How rovers are searching for alien life in the desert, CNN, 28 February 2019

CNN, Daily MailThe IndependentMIT Technology ReviewPhys.OrgScienmag and various science publications reported on the latest research led by Director of the Division of Science and Professor of Science Stephen Pointing, which showed that a robotic rover can recover subsurface soil in the most Mars-like desert on Earth. Reports noted that according to Professor Pointing, the finding is important “because most scientists agree that any life on Mars would have to occur below the surface to escape the harsh surface conditions where high radiation, low temperature and lack of water make life unlikely” and the research team has found that microbes adapted to high salt levels, similar to what may be expected in the Martian subsurface. The experimental rover and drill was designed by Carnegie Mellon’s Robotics Institute and funded by NASA. The study results were published on 28 February 2019 in the journal Frontiers in Microbiology.

 

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