If we live life on the red planet, our best hope of discovering it may be this rock-starved rover, currently in its final stages of construction at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
Using ultraviolet lasers, the appendix scans the ground to detect the presence of organic compounds. He then trains on the rock, extracts the essential samples and deposits them into the rover’s body – all without human intervention. Once consumed, the specimens are hermetically sealed inside the tubes, which the rover will then store at a location for future missions.
Jet Propulsion Laboratory Technicians who evaluate the Mars March wear white “bunny suits”, which destroy static electricity so as not to crash sensitive electronics. The costumes also serve as a barrier between humans and flight equipment – foreign matter such as germs, hair and dead skin can dye finely calibrated experiments.
Engineers are now testing rover science instruments and are working to ensure that rock samples will remain contaminated as they await their ascent to Earth./investing