Is there life on Mars?

The university of Leicester is working closely with NASA and the European Space Agency to determine the age-old question, is there life on Mars?

Mars Sample Return is happening with the launch of NASA’s Mars 2020 rover next year. With several sub-missions in-between, it is planned to return to earth in 2031. The European Space Agency (ESA) is a partner in the mission and one of the support technologies being developed is the Double Walled Isolator (DWI).

Mars Sample Return is going to be one of the biggest scientific projects of the 21st century and the end goal is to bring Mars to Earth……or 500 grams of it!

Scientists want to analyse pristine Mars rock in specialist labs around the World and conduct research that cannot be done by rovers and robots on the surface of the red planet.

Big questions about life on Mars demand high calibre science and equipment and instruments that can guarantee the integrity of such analysis. Identifying signals that give a positive answer to this investigation will be one of the most profound discoveries in the history of humanity.

DWI is an enabling technology to support this scientific endeavour and has been developed at the University of Leicester. And it is students who are making decisions about where to study today, that will be the ones who discover if there really ever was life on Mars.

We recently had a visit from East Midlands Today who interviewed one of our students, Alan Norbury who is working on the life on Mars project.