NASA will hunt for fossils on Mars When you think about fossils, you probably imagine T. rex skulls and sauropod femurs. NASAs Mars 2020 rover will be looking for fossils on Mars, but not that kind of fossil.NASA highlighted a new study in the journal Icarusthis week that points out some fascinating formations around the inner rim of Jezero Crater, the rovers planned landing site. The agency likens these concentrated carbonate mineral deposits to a bathtub ring around what had once been a lake 3.5 billion years ago."On Earth, carbonates help form structures that are hardy enough to survive in fossil form for billions of years, including seashells, coral and some stromatolites -- rocks formed on this planet by ancient microbial life along ancient shorelines, where sunlight and water were plentiful," NASA said.NASA doesnt expect to find seashells, but the rover will take a close look for stromatolites. Scientists would be thrilled to discover signs of past microbial life on the currently inhospitable planet. The rovers investigation of the carbonate deposits might also tell us more about how Mars transitioned from a watery place to a barren one.The Mars 2020 rover is coming together at NASA with a launch planned for the middle of next year. If it stays on schedule, then the rover will arrive at the crater in February 2021.Scientists dont know if the carbonates formed from the ancient lake or if they mightve been deposited earlier. Well have to wait to learn more. Itll be a landmark worth looking forward to.