According To NASA, There Are Chances Life May Have Existed On Mars

Posted: Jun 8 2018, 9:51am CDT | by , in Latest Science News


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According to NASA, There Are Chances Life May Have Existed on Mars
Credit: NASA

Curiosity Rover Discovers Organic Molecules on Mars Surface.

On June 7, 2018, NASA released their new findings of the red planet, Mars. Launched in November 2011, the main mission of Curiosity Rover was to find evidence of any form of life on this distant planet. And this mission has been successful in finding new evidence that Mars could have supported life in the past.

Curiosity rover drilled and analyzed Martian rocks, after conducting few tests scientists found the presence of organic molecules in the sedimentary rocks, the surface rocks itself were more than three billion years old. The rover also collected information about the varying levels of methane in the atmosphere of Mars.

Organic molecules are mainly linked with biological life but under different conditions, they can also be formed due to non-biological processes.

Organic molecules are mainly made up of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and various other elements, and presence of all these elements is necessary for the evolution of biological life on any planet.

So, at present, this new information may not be a strong indicator of the presence of life on Mars at present, or somewhere during its past, it does provide a starting point for further Mars missions, NASA is planning on sending new Mars missions that will search for signs of life on the planet’s surface and also below its surface.

“With these new findings, Mars is telling us to stay the course and keep searching for evidence of life,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters, in Washington. “I’m confident that our ongoing and planned missions will unlock even more breathtaking discoveries on the Red Planet.”

“Curiosity has not determined the source of the organic molecules,” said Jen Eigenbrode of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, who is the lead author of one of the two new Science papers. “Whether it holds a record of ancient life, was food for life, or has existed in the absence of life, organic matter in Martian materials holds chemical clues to planetary conditions and processes.”

According to Nasa, Mars may not support life at present, however, a lot of new findings suggest that it was not the same during the past. Billions of years ago, Mars had water on its surface, and the Gale Crater region on Mars had all the necessary elements that are necessary for the creation of biological life forms.

“Are there signs of life on Mars?” said Michael Meyer, lead scientist for NASA's Mars Exploration Program, at NASA Headquarters. “We don’t know, but these results tell us we are on the right track.”

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