The search for life on Mars continues.

Explore Mars, a New England-based non-profit organization, announced that it wants to fire bunker-busting missiles at the surface of Mars to get a better idea of life below the red planet’s surface New Scientist reports.

The missiles being fired will not warheads armed with explosives, but instead, will contain probes to search for life on the planet as it’s been theorized that preserved microbes could lie below the surface.

The project, called Exolance, certainly has a few challenges before any projectiles are showered on our next-door planet.  First, Exolance must ensure that its equipment is durable enough to withstand smashing into the planet as similar NASA missions have failed at this in the past.  Secondly, the project must find a way to get to Mars.  At the moment, Exolance is looking at piggybacking onto a mission that is already headed for the planet in order to keep costs at a bare-minimum.

NASA has made consistent attempt to get below Mars’ surface.  Currently, NASA’s Curiosity rover has a drill that can penetrate a few centimeters into the planet’s crust, but apparently that barely scratches the surface according to Chris Carberry, executive director of Explore Mars.

Future plans have NASA set to launch its InSight lander mission in 2016, which will feature a “mole” that can drill 5 meters below the planet’s surface, while the European Space Agency has its own plans for launching the ExoMars in 2018 which can drill down 2 meters in search for life.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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