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Mars Rover Cannot Investigate Recurring Slope Lineae

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Tagged As: Alien, Mars, NASA, Robot, and Space

Recurring Slope Lineae (paywall) or RSL, are an indicator of previous or current liquid flows on Mars. Researchers are able to track the changes in RSL in Martian craters thanks to the Mars Global Surveyor. Obviously, the sites are of interest to send the rovers into for research into possible Martian biology. Buuuuut, by agreed upon international space agency conventions, that's impossible because the only device that was "cleaned" to sterile standards was Viking, more than 40 years ago. Essentially, when Opportunity and Spirit were sent to Mars, it was decided that Martian life was so unlikely that it wasn't worth the extra money to fully sterilize the spacecraft. Now, the concern is that exposing the possible biologics to Earth contaminants could potentially kill the very thing mankind has looked for.

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