NASA's Curiosity: Martian rocks are advancing our search for extraterrestrial life

Interesting Engineering highlights various Martian geological features, including those discovered by NASA's Curiosity rover over its 10-year voyage.
Sade Agard
Rocks are guiding our search for Martian life
Rocks are guiding our search for Martian life


  • NASA's Curiosity rover was designed as part of the Mars Science Laboratory mission to explore habitable environments.
  • Part of that mission involves studying Martian geology- particularly environments that show prolonged interaction with liquid water.
  • IE reveals examples of how Martian rocks and geological structures record past environments key to understanding when and where life existed on the planet.

Despite being only half as big as the Earth, Mars has a vibrant geological history- part of which is yet to be fully understood. Additionally, it could span a period of time longer than Earth's geology.

Our knowledge of Mars' geology has significantly improved over the past few decades thanks to the advances in technologies that have made flybys, orbiters, landers, and now rovers possible.

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