NASA scientists to mix biology and geology inside Hawaii volcano

NASA scientists to mix biology and geology inside Hawaii volcano

As part of their preparations for a manned mission to Mars, NASA scientists will soon start hiking around Mauna Ulu in Hawaii to practice collecting rock and other samples as they would on the Red Planet.

Managers for the space agency’s Biologic Analog Science Associated with Lava Terrains (BASALT) mission announced that scientists will be mix biology and geology inside Hawaii Volcanoes National Park later this month.

It may be noted here that the BASALT mission is responsible for testing technologies for future manned missions to the Red Planet. Once the new mission starts, the scientists will develop new protocols for collecting and protecting biological samples.

John Hamilton, an astronomer at the Hilo-based University of Hawaii, said, “Really, the whole reason of going to Mars is to see if there’s life there. There’s a lot of great geology. But are we alone?”

Hamilton added that one of the many concerns is contamination of rocks that could be home to living bacteria.

The U.S. space agency selected the site along with the Snake River plain in Idaho because they both host volcanic terrain similar to that of the Red Planet.


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