NASA’s Mars 2020 rover has just gotten some serious upgrade, one that might actually be able to detect even the most minute traces of alien life form on the Red Planet.

According to a post from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, engineers have recently installed a SuperCam Mast Unit onto the Mars 2020 rover. This camera system is composed of a state-of-the-art camera, laser and spectrometers that are capable of identifying chemical and mineral components even on subjects that are as small as a pencil point and at a distance of more than 6 meters.

This technology would make it easy to determine the chemical makeup of a Martian surface even from a certain distance and in essence, can now easily detect signs of organic life forms.

The SuperCam is the upgraded version of the ChemCam system that’s currently being used by NASA's Curiosity Mars rover. The system was created via a partnership among the U.S., France and Spain.

The last hardware completing the SuperCam was placed by end of last month at the Spacecraft Assembly Facility's High Bay 1 clean room at JPL.

"SuperCam has come a long way from being a bold and ambitious idea to an actual instrument. While it still has a long way to go — all the way to Mars — this is a great day for not only SuperCam but the amazing consortium that put it together," Sylvestre Maurice, the SuperCam deputy principal investigator at the Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie in Toulouse, said.

Aside from studying rocks and soil, the Mars 2020 SuperCam will also play a big role in the search for organic compounds that could hint for past life on Mars.

"SuperCam's rock-zapping laser allows scientists to analyze the chemical composition of its targets. It lets the Mars 2020 rover conduct its cutting-edge science from a distance," Soren Madsen, JPL’s payload development manager, said.

The Mars 2020 rover is set to launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station by July next year and is expected to land at Jezero Crater on Feb. 18, 2021. The 2020 mission of NASA, which includes lunar projects, will play an important role in the agency’s plans for human exploration to both the moon and planet Mars.

NASA Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity Wdowiak Ridge
This vista from NASA Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity shows Wdowiak Ridge, from left foreground to center, as part of a northward look with the rover tracks visible at right. NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell Univ./Arizona State Univ.