Mars ‘Pregnancy Test’ Orbits Earth

A new experiment similar to a pregnancy test but designed to search for signs of life on Mars is now exposed to the vacuum of space above Earth.
The European Space Agency’s (ESA) postage-stamp-sized experiment, called the “Life Marker Chip” (LMC), was launched last week aboard a Russian rocket launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan. Strapped to the ESA’s large Foton-M3 capsule, the tiny experiment harbors more than 2,000 life-detecting samples that glow if they encounter life-critical compounds, such as proteins or DNA.
Scientists and engineers hope the life-sensing chip can remain viable in the harsh radiation, temperatures and vacuum of space during a trip to Mars.