The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover Curiosity, currently scheduled to land on the surface of the Red Planet on August 5th, may contaminate samples collected from our neighboring world with Earth-based materials, officials at NASA fear.
According to scientists at the American space agency, the rover's drill head is the major cause of concern. They say that drilling through Martian soil samples would allow small amounts of Teflon and other materials to contaminate the minute amounts of dust being analyzed.
However, experts are convinced that the issue will not make it impossible for Curiosity to search for the basic building blocks of life on Mars. The goal of the mission is to figure out whether the Red Planet is, or ever was, capable of supporting carbon-based life.
According to Curiosity lead scientist, John Grotzinger, from the California Institute of Technology, this is “not a serious problem, because we see so many potential ways to work around this that we could use,” Space