Over the past two decades, missions flown by NASA’s Mars Exploration Program have shown us that Mars was once very different from the cold, dry planet it is today. Evidence discovered by landed and orbital missions point to wet conditions billions of years ago. These environments lasted long enough to potentially support the development of microbial life.
The Mars 2020 rover is designed to better understand the geology of Mars and seek signs of ancient life. The mission will collect and store a set of rock and soil samples that could be returned to Earth in the future. It will also test new technology
Mission Key Objectives
• Explore a geologically diverse landing site
• Assess ancient habitability
• Seek signs of ancient life, particularly in special rocks known to preserve signs of life over time
• Gather rock and soil samples that could be returned to Earth by a future NASA mission
• Demonstrate technology for future robotic and human exploration