Proof of alien life on Mars could be discovered in a British laboratory.
The UK Space Agency has won funding to build the only facility where samples from the Red Planet will be stored and analysed.
At least eight missions are planning to return samples from Mars and asteroids.
Scientists hope they contain fossils or tangible proof that life existed outside of Earth.
Dr Rain Irshad, a systems engineer at the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, said: “If we brought these rocks and we split them open and we found a fossil, that would be so exciting. We could definitely have the first discovery of life on Mars happening in the UK.”
Nasa’s Perseverance Rover has already begun searching for fossils by drilling rocks near an ancient lake on Mars.
The cores will be collected in a few years by the European Space Agency’s Sample Fetch Rover.
Dr Irshad added: “This is the first time we are bringing back a piece of a whole other world.”
The facility is likely to be built in Oxfordshire.
This news comes after baffled residents in Manchester spotted a possible UFO in the sky.
Dozens took to social media to share pictures and videos of the peculiar sighting.
Some asked ‘what the f**k is it’ while others speculated what the object may be – with a UFO, plane or rocket among the most popular theories.
Pictures showed the strange device with a thick orange plume underneath it.
The suspected aircraft has been spotted in Didsbury and Wythenshawe in South Manchester, as well as Ashton-under-Lyne in Tameside.
One bemused resident posted on her local Facebook page asking: "Did anyone else see this over East Didsbury about 45 minutes ago?
"Was it the sun catching a vapour trail of a plane?"
Another wrote on a Wythenshawe community group: "Did anyone else see this? It's not a plane. Looks like a rocket but what is it all about?"
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