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Tar­get: Mars

NASA’s Cu­rios­ity rover car­ries a Tun­able Laser Spec­trom­e­ter in­stru­ment that can sniff out tiny traces of at­mo­spheric gas down to a part per bil­lion or less. When it ar­rived, sci­en­tists were dis­ap­pointed to find no signs of the meth­ane de­tected in Earth­based mea­sure­ments, but Cu­rios­ity has since de­tected meth­ane ‘spikes’ that seem to be linked to the sea­sons, and these could be the strong­est ev­i­dence for life so far.

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