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NASA tests its autonomous drill to dig deep under Mars surface

Sep 21, 2019, 8:06 am

NASA announced a new tool that will be for drilling the surface of Mars. The tool is attached to a rover which is being tested in the Atacama Desert in Chile called ARADS. The aim of the drill is to trace tiny, living microbes or their fossilized remains on Mars that indicate the life on Mars.

NASA is testing its drilling machine so that one day, it might head to Mars to help with the researchers find the answer that whether the Red Planet had life or not. The NASA ARADS drill is developed in partnership with Honeybee Robotics. The drill can reach two meters (6.5 feet) down through all layers and also retrieve to get a sample for further analysis.

The planet is known to have had a denser and wetter atmosphere in its distant past and taking this into consideration NASA wants to know if there was once life on Mars. Scientists also found that the planet once had oceans of water, and while evidence of water on its surface has been found, it is much of a curiosity for them to know if that water harbored life.

At present, the surface of Mars has a thousand times less water than the driest parts of the Atacama Desert, which is one of the driest places on Earth. Testing the drill and life-detecting technologies in such harsh and unpredictable field condition will help for future missions to the Red Planet.

The autonomous drill can be used to locate water and other resources on the Moon too.

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