LIFE LOOKING FOR MICROBIAL
DR ABIGAIL Allwood has been appointed one of seven principal science investigators in NASA’s next mission to the red planet, the 2020 Mars mission. She is the first woman and first Australian to be given the prestigious role. She will be in charge of an instrument called the Planetary Instrument X-ray Lithochemistry, or PIXL for short, that will use X-rays to examine the chemistry of rock samples in search of evidence of life. Mars 2020 rover is being designed to seek signs of past life on Mars, collect and store a set soil and rock samples that could be returned to Earth in the future, and test new technology to benefit future robotic and human exploration of Mars.