UC-Santa Barbara to direct Mars soil test

December 14, 2005

The European Space Agency announced Tuesday its support of a program that will include development of an instrument for testing deep soil samples on Mars.

The testing, to be conducted during a European mission called ExoMars, will be directed by University of California-Santa Barbara research scientist Luann Becker.

"We are very excited about this," said Becker. "It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."

Testing by the two NASA rovers are currently operating on Mars has spurred ESA interest in developing different, new and highly-sensitive instruments to search for present or past life on Mars.

The ExoMars rover will contain a drill that can reach soil samples up to 6 1/2 feet (two meters) under the Martian surface.

Becker said she anticipates the American contribution to the ESA's Molecular Organic Molecule Analyzer development will be funded by NASA.

MOMA will be included as part of the ExoMars mission to Mars in 2011.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Mars water find boosts quest for extra-terrestrial life

Related Stories

Can you grow potatoes on Mars?

September 23, 2015

This is not as odd a question as it sounds, and by next week I reckon a good lot of you will be pondering it. Why? Well the 30th September sees the opening of The Martian in Australia, director Ridley Scott's latest offering. ...

Testing Mars missions in Morocco

March 11, 2011

“This site is called Moon 2,” says Gian Gabriele Ori of the International Research School of Planetary Sciences (IRSPS). He pauses, looks around, and then says with a laugh, “I don’t remember the reason ...

NASA funds instrument to probe life on Mars

January 12, 2007

A joint UC San Diego/UC Berkeley experiment to detect life on Mars that is scheduled to fly aboard the European ExoMars rover mission in 2013 will receive $750,000 in development funding from the National Aeronautics and ...

Recommended for you

CERN collides heavy nuclei at new record high energy

November 25, 2015

The world's most powerful accelerator, the 27 km long Large Hadron Collider (LHC) operating at CERN in Geneva established collisions between lead nuclei, this morning, at the highest energies ever. The LHC has been colliding ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.