The 2020 rover will look for ways to convert carbon dioxide into oxygen and determine whether it's possible to live off the Martian land
Given that scientists believe that we're in the middle of a mass extinction, it's perhaps no surprise that the world's leading space agency is searching for answers – one of them is a migration to Mars.
NASA's previous journeys onto the Red Planet have returned positive feedback regarding Mars' ability to support life, now NASA want their 2020 rover to search for ways to sustain a human exodus and "determine the potential habitability of the environment".
In a statement NASA said: "The 2020 rover will help answer questions about the Martian environment that astronauts will face and test technologies they need before landing on, exploring and returning from the Red Planet. Mars has resources needed to help sustain life, which can reduce the amount of supplies that human missions will need to carry. Better understanding the Martian dust and weather will be valuable data for planning human Mars missions. Testing ways to extract these resources and understand the environment will help make the pioneering of Mars feasible."
The 2020 rover will be based on the highly successful Curiosity model that's still pottering round on Mars today. The Opportunity rover is still on the Red Planet too, having recently set a record for off-world roving - it's travelled 25 miles since landing in 2004, not bad for a machine that was only meant to travel 1km.
NASA say that being able to set up shop on Mars will greatly enhance our quest for other lifeforms in the universe and help to throw out that empty feeling that we're absolutely alone in a neverending void of nothingness.
Watch this space.