NASA is considering the construction of 28 missions to find life beyond Earth in oursolar system, said an American scientist. "Astrobiology and the search for life are the main objectives of what we should do in these explorations of the solar system, " saidSteve Squyres, a researcher at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.
"We think a total of 28 different missions. They cover everything from exploration to the planet Mercury and sending away objects in our solar system - which is very relevant in the search for life, " he continued, AFP .
Among other policy objectives: a mission to Mars in three stages, which would bring toEarth samples of soil. "Those samples could clearly show whether Mars eversupported life forms or support today, " said the scientist. Another part of the missionwill investigate the origins of methane in the atmosphere of the planet and whether ornot organic. Methane breaks down quickly in the martian atmosphere, but scientistshave discovered methane clouds on Mars in 2003, which showed that the planet is notcompletely dead. "We will send a mission to identify potential sources of methane andposilitatea we consider it to be of biological origin, " Squyres said.
Read more in our solar system, scientists are very interested in Europe, a Jupitermoon. "It is believed that Europe has a liquid water ocean under the ice crust. Andthink of a robot mission to Europa, which could, among other things, the ability to use aradar that can penetrate the ice, which can to find the ocean if it exists, identify placeswhere we could go to learn more "about the ocean, "said Squyres.