Groningen biotech company Bioclear is providing rock sampling apparatus for the ExoMars Rover space flight to Mars, due to blast off in 2013.
The equipment will drill into the ground and take rock samples which will be analysed for signs of life at a molecular level, a spokesman for Bioclear said.
Bioclear is a specialist in soil and ecology risk assessment and detecting micro-organisms. On the Mars project, the company will focus on detecting protein, fat and hydrocarbon molecules which could indicate there is life or has once been life, a spokesman told news agency ANP.
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