By using the barren Atacama Desert in Chile as a stand-in for Mars, researchers have shown that it’s possible to use an autonomous rover-mounted drill to detect life beneath a desolate surface. Encouragingly, the test resulted in the discovery of a resilient microorganism—exactly the kind of creature that could lurk deep beneath the Martian surface.
New research published today in Frontiers in Microbiology describes a trial NASA rover mission in Chile’s Atacama Desert that could mirror a future mission to Mars. The experimental rover and drill, designed by Carnegie Mellon’s Robotics Institute and funded by NASA, successfully recovered microorganisms beneath the surface—specifically, a hardy, salt-resistant bacteria. The test provided justification for a life-hunting mission to Mars, but the experiment was not without its challenges and limitations. As the new research showed, finding life on Mars—if it even exists—will require some serious technological innovations, a lot of cash, and a bit of luck.
Adafruit has had paid day off for voting for our team for years, if you need help getting that going for your organization, let us know – we can share how and why we did this as well as the good results. Here are some resources for voting by mail, voting in person, and some NY resources for our NY based teams as well. If there are additional resources to add, please let us know – adafruit.com/vote
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.