Designing a drone that can search for life on other planets

Nina Lanza is a planetary scientist in Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Space Remote Sensing and Data Science group and principal investigator on the ChemCam instrument on the Mars Curiosity rover. She contributed this article to’s Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights.

More than 600 miles north of the Arctic Circle is a small island called Devon, home to the Haughton impact crater. Haughton is a cold, dry and windy Arctic desert that is nearly always light in the summer and always dark in the winter. Its average temperature over the year is 1 degree Fahrenheit (minus 17 degrees Celsius).

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