Washington: American space agency NASA has been experimenting and discovering new ways that would take them a step further in their mission to explore Mars.
The space agency has been vying for a 2020 mission to the Red Planet, which still needs a lot of research and is currently in looking for a landing site on the planet's surface for its next Mars rover.
Of course, several recommendations fell into the space agency's lap, however, there was one that caught their attention and that was from a teenager who hasn't even completed high school!
Alex Longo from Raleigh, North Carolina state, suggested that NASA should land the next rover at the same place where they landed rover Spirit in 2004 – a place called Gusev Crater, npr.org reported on Monday.
Longo's interest in space goes way back to 2005 when he was five-years-old, when he had his first space exploration experience. That's when he decided that not only does he want to go into space himself someday, he also wanted to be the first person to walk on Mars.
Soon, Longo started following NASA missions on the agency's website and in 2014 came across an announcement about the next rover mission to Mars.
"I saw that they were looking for abstracts from scientists to suggest landing sites. I decided, well, I'll write something up," he was quoted as saying.
Longo wrote multi-page scientific document in which he proposed to land the next rover at the same place - called Gusev Crater - where NASA's rover Spirit had landed in 2004.
NASA apparently agreed. They sent Longo an email inviting him to attend the first landing site planning meeting.
Longo attended the conference at the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston, Texas, in October 2015 and gave a presentation.
He has now teamed up with some more experienced Mars scientists who also favour going back to Gusev Crater.
(With IANS inputs)