(ORDO NEWS) — The UK Space Agency has won funding to build a new laboratory to study Martian soil samples.
Scientists hope to find evidence of alien life on Mars by analyzing samples from the Red Planet. The facility is likely to be built in Oxfordshire. The scientists’ plans are reported by the Daily Star.
The British hope that the new laboratory will be the only place on Earth where soil samples from the Red Planet will be stored and analyzed.
At the moment, it is planned that at least eight space missions will be sent to collect and deliver to Earth samples of Martian soil, as well as fragments of asteroids. Researchers are hopeful that they will be able to find fossils or other tangible evidence that life existed off Earth.
“If we were to bring these rocks and break them open and find a fossil, that would be so exciting. We could definitely make the first discovery of life on Mars in the UK,” says CST Rutherford Appleton Laboratory engineer Dr. Rein Irshad.
NASA’s Perseverance rover is already searching for the fossils scientists need. To do this, the device drills soil on the shore of an ancient Martian lake. It is planned that enough samples to send to Earth will be collected in a few years, including using the Sample Fetch Rover of the European Space Agency.
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