NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory hopes to answer the question has Mars ever been able to sustain life. The new rover will have on-board equipment to experiment on soil samples testing for possible microbial life forms past or present. Watch full animation depicting the mission at the link.
The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) is a rover that will assess whether Mars ever was, or is still today, an environment able to support microbial life. In other words, its mission is to determine the planet’s “habitability.” Scheduled to launch in November or December of this year, the Curiosity rover should land on Mars in August 2012. (Just before the apocalypse, yay!)