The Search for Extraterrestrial Genomes (SETG)
The Search for Extraterrestrial Genomes (SETG):
An In-situ Detector for Life on Mars Ancestrally Related to Life on Earth
The SETG Project [http://web.mit.edu/setg/] will test the hypothesis that life on Mars, if it exists, shares a common ancestor with life on Earth. There is increasing evidence that viable microbes could have been transferred between the two planets, based in part on calculations of meteorite trajectories and magnetization studies supporting only mild heating of meteorite cores. Based on the shared-ancestry hypothesis, this instrument will look for DNA and RNA through in-situ analysis of Martian soil (or ice) samples.