Pilbara's relevance to Mars

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Pilbara and Mars

This is a transcript of a QuickTime movie (4.2 MB) recorded in the Pilbara in 2005. Professor Malcolm Walter, Director of the Australian Centre for Astrobiology, talks about the relevance of the Pilbara to Mars.


The particular value of this place in relation to the exploration of Mars is that if we’re going to look for the same sorts of things on Mars as we’re looking at here – and that is indeed part of the exploration program for Mars – then this a great test-bed – a great place to come to test individual instruments, packages of instruments and indeed rovers with instruments on board and orbiters with instruments on board. We can do all those things when we’re dealing with rocks 3.5 billion years old and that time on Mars seems to have been warm and wet and we expect there was life there. So it is directly relevant in terms of age, of palaeoenvironments - the ancient environments - in terms of the sorts of evidence for life and environments we have here. There is no better place on Earth to test out instruments designed to look for former life on Mars.




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