NASA’s Curiosity rover has detected both methane in Mars’s atmosphere and carbon-bearing organic compounds in its rocks. But it’s unclear where these molecules come from — or whether there’s any biological connection.
NASA’s MAVEN mission has discovered a new population of particles in Mars’s upper atmosphere. It’s also found a plume of particles escaping from the planet’s poles, confirming atmospheric loss is happening today.
Six years from now, there will be a new NASA robot heading to the Red Planet: the Mars 2020 rover. On July 31st mission planners unveiled the rover’s seven scientific instruments, which will pave the way for human exploration of Mars.