By: Conrad Duncan
Nasa is close to finding life on Mars but the world is not ready for the “revolutionary” implications of the discovery, the space agency’s chief scientist has said.
Dr Jim Green has warned that two rovers from Nasa and the European Space Agency (ESA) could find evidence of life within months of arriving on Mars in March 2021.
The ExoMars Rover, which has been dubbed “Rosalind” in memory of British chemist Rosalind Franklin, will search for extra-terrestrial life by drilling 6.5 feet down into Mars’ core to take samples.
Those samples will then be crushed up and examined for organic matter in a mobile laboratory.
Dr Green compared the potential discovery to when the astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus stated that the Earth revolves around the Sun in the 16th century.
“It will start a whole new line of thinking. I don’t think we’re prepared for the results,” he told The Sunday Telegraph. “I’ve been worried about that because I think we’re close to finding it and making some announcements.”
Nasa’s rover Mars 2020 will drill into rock formations on the planet before sending test-tubes of rock samples back to Earth – the first time material from Mars will have been brought onto this planet.
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