On a spring day in 1647, a girl was born who would push the boundaries of biological exploration. Her name was Maria Sibylla Merian. In the 1600s, most people thought that insects were spawn of the devil, sources of evil, and a sign of witchcraft. In time Merian learned to love these misunderstood lifeforms, studying them through the long hours of the night at great personal risk. Through her observations she uncovered the generation of insect life and information about their life cycles. Many tried to discourage her work, even her own family, but she persevered, opening a new age of biological exploration. Just as Merian explored the generation of simple life forms on Earth, so NASA’s Merian rover strives to open another chapter of biological exploration, uncovering evidence of life forms on Mars.
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