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Mars Life Could Lurk Within These Salty Streaks

So-called "recurring slope lineae" are a tantalizing feature on the slopes of Mars, but how do we go about exploring their potential life-giving qualities without contaminating them with our robots?

Published On 02/17/2017
1:42 PM EST
Recurring slope lineae in Raga Crater on Mars. Such features have been suggested as "special regions" where life may be present. This image is also from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter HiRISE camera (NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona)
NASA's Curiosity rover may be able to image RSLs from a distance, but doing so may detract from its main mission to explore the layers on Mount Sharp (Aeolis Mons) in Gale Crater (NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)