With Russian Help, Europe Prepares To Search For Life On Mars

By Reuters

Instead of sampling the planet’s radiation-blasted surface as the Viking probes did, the ExoMars rover will use a radar sounder to search for subterranean water and then drill down about 6 feet (2 meters) for samples that will be processed through onboard laboratories.

“If there is any life and if we discover it, it will be unambiguous,” said Vincenzo Giorgo, Thales Alenia’s vice president of exploration and space. “On Viking everybody thought, ‘We found it, we found it,’ but then nobody could prove it.”

Thales Alenia Space is a joint venture owned 67 percent by France’s Thales and 33 percent by Italy’s Finmeccanica.


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