NASA revealed a new technology to answer questions about life on Mars
In finding life on Mars, NASA is currently making tests for a new technology to sniff off life forms in the red planet and for the future missions in the solar system.
According to Washington Post, Defense Department's Joint Biological Standoff Detection System, a U.S. military based technology that is capable of sourcing amino acids in the environment and other organic molecules required for life to exist, will be used by the scientists to snuffle any possible traces of evidence that will prove the red planet's capability to sustain life.
Bio-Indicator Lidar Instrument is the device that will be used by NASA in Mars. It has a perceptive laser sensor that shoots out ultraviolet pulses that reflects to the target and returns the signal to the receiver in a 3-dimensional image. It can also detect the size and age of the particle based on how the electrons react.
"This is a new way to apply in an inter-planetary level by NASA", as announced by Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland. However, Branimir Blagojevic, a technologist with NASA and the creator of the bio-indicator device said, "NASA has never used it before in a planetary ground level exploration. If the bio-signatures are there, it could be detected in the dust."
For years, Lidar system or Light Detection and Ranging system has been used in the missions to the moon, Apollo 15 1971. Lidar originated in 1960's after the laser was invented and combined laser-focused imaging was discovered. It was more accurate compared to radar.
Still, NASA did not issue any updates on when the Bio-indicator Lidar Instrument will be used in the missions to Mars. But, they are currently having tests to know how will it work in the rough terrain and in a hazardous environment that Martian planet have.
Though Goddard is preparing for another space rover that will be sent to Mars in 2020, did not suggest that will include the Lidar tool in the mission. But Blagojevic and his colleague still suggest that the system would be useful for the potential discovery.
He also added, "This is a survey instrument with a nose for certain molecules, and is very beneficial for the rover to explore what lies beneath the Martian polar plains."