That's what Perseverance, the NASA rover that left Earth for Mars 6 months ago, will try to discover.
Catch up fast: Perseverance landed at Jezero Crater yesterday afternoon and will now begin explore the Red Planet.
- First item on the agenda: looking for fossils in the soil of Jezero Crater, which was home to a lake 3.9 billion years ago.
- The rover will also drop a (tiny) helicopter on Mars that will charge itself with solar panels before undertaking a 20 second flight.
- Perseverance will look for evidence that life once existed on the planet and collect samples that will eventually be returned to Earth in the 2030s.
Zoom out: Beyond the fact that landing rovers on Mars (and space exploration in general) is just really cool, understanding why a planet like Mars that used to have water (and maybe life) no longer does can better help us understand our own planet and how to protect it.