The Mars Curiosity rover recently stopped for an important test to look for more clues of life on Mars. This test was specifically designed to see if there was methane in the air which could be a sign of past or present life on Mars.
Before the Curiosity touched down on the Martian soil it was tested in the ISO 7 cleanroom at NASA’s JPL facility. As you can see in the video above, NASA technicians donned full bunny suits for these tests. The rover doesn’t move incredibly fast, but it does move purposefully.
Curiosity was equipped with the Tunable Laser Spectrometer which is specifically designed to test air and soil based on various parameters. Unfortunately, the device was not able to find any methane.
“It would have been exciting to find methane, but we have high confidence in our measurements, and the progress in expanding knowledge is what’s really important,” says the report’s lead author, Chris Webster, of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. “We measured repeatedly from Martian spring to late summer, but with no detection of methane.”
Although many scientists had thought there was methane on Mars, Curiosity said otherwise. No methane was found, but the hunt for life still continues.