CORVALLIS, Ore. – A team of Oregon State University scientists and engineers is planning daily experiments for the Mars rover Curiosity.
OSU marine geologist Martin Fisk said the goal is to investigate whether the planet may be conducive to harboring life.
“For the first few days after landing, all of the activities were pre-planned,” Fisk said, “but now we’re to the point where we’re looking at the terrain, seeing what we want to explore, and creating sets of short-term activities.
PHOTOS: Mars Rover images
Scientists said any possible life would be in the form of bacteria.
Fisk said Mars is thought to have gone through three major stages: the planet had water near the surface, and then it evaporated and the surface was covered by sulfate salts, which are still preserved today.
“Now it appears to be in an oxidative phase, where there is ice as well as a very real possibility that water exists below the surface,” he pointed out.
That could be the setting for the discovery of organic material.