NASA Ames Research Center's Atacama Rover Astrobiology Drilling Studies


NASA/CampoAlto/Victor Robles

NASA’s Ames Research Center, in the heart of California’s Silicon Valley, is leading the Atacama Rover Astrobiology Drilling Studies (ARADS), project, which designs tools and techniques that could be used one day to search for life on Mars or elsewhere in the solar system. The prototype rover combines the ability to move across the surface, drill down to collect soil samples, and feed them to several life-detection instruments on board. The extreme conditions of Chile’s Atacama Desert provide one of the most Mars-like environments on Earth, where the team can test and refine these technologies and methods.

For over 60 years, Ames Research Center, one of 10 NASA field Centers, has led NASA in conducting world-class research and development.

Lab Spotlight
Far West