NASA begins testing drilling Mars rover in Chilean desert

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NASA this month began testing a prototype robot in the Chilean desert, as part of the agency’s ongoing search for evidence of life on Mars. The prototype, known as Zoë, is a solar-powered, autonomous robot equipped with onboard sensors, cameras, and a one-meter drill. The robot will use its drill to find and analyze soil samples from Chile’s Atacama Desert, the driest on Earth. Led by Carnegie Mellon University and the SETI Institute, the Life in the Atacama Project was launched earlier this month as NASA began testing a variety of new technologies that could be used on the craft that replaces the Curiosity rover in 2020.

Zoë is explicitly designed to search for signs of microbial life, which experts say would likely exist well below…

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via The Verge – All Posts http://www.theverge.com/

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