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Lab in Macao involved in Chinese quest for life on Mars

The State Reference Laboratory for Lunar and Planetary Science at Macau University of Science and Technology is preparing a project in Portugal and Cabo Verde to help the search for life on Mars, Lusa reports.

The Portuguese news agency quotes the head of astrobiology at the laboratory, André Antunes, as saying the Covid-19 pandemic has delayed field work for the project in Cabo Verde and in the salt pans of the central Portuguese district of Aveiro.

Mr Antunes said it was essential to investigate environments containing very salty water, where conditions are similar to those that may be found on Mars.

Macau University of Science and Technology is working on 11 projects associated with a Chinese mission to Mars, which entailed the launch last week of a probe which will land there and collect data about frozen water in the subsoil, Lusa says.