Studying Mars' Habitability, Seeking Signs of Past Microbial Life, Collecting and Caching Samples, and Preparing for Future Human Missions
The Perseverance rover has four science objectives that support the Mars Exploration Program's science goals:
Looking for Habitability: Identify past environments capable of supporting microbial life.
Seeking Biosignatures: Seek signs of possible past microbial life in those habitable environments, particularly in special rocks known to preserve signs of life over time.
Caching Samples: Collect core rock and "soil" samples and store them on the Martian surface.
Preparing for Humans: Test oxygen production from the Martian atmosphere.
All address key astrobiology questions related to the potential of Mars as a place for life. The first three consider the possibility of past microbial life. Even if Perseverance does not discover any signs of past life, it paves the way for human life on Mars someday.
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