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Numerous photonic devices and applications are contributing to the pursuit of microbial life on Mars, or, more accurately, the quest to determine if, among other novel possibilities, such lifeforms once inhabited the Red Planet. Among abundant unique components on board NASA’s Mars rover Perseverance are lenses, mirrors, prisms, sensors, and cameras from industry developers. The rover’s mission began at Cape Canaveral, Fla., on July 30 and seeks to answer long-elusive questions about Earth’s next-door neighbor.
Assessing the potential habitability of Mars is among the rover’s daunting objectives; others include sample caching and planning for forthcoming human exploration. The rover is breaking down its…READ MORE