By WND. NASA announced Thursday its Curiosity rover has found organic matter preserved on Mars, suggesting the red planet may have once been home to life.
“The chances of being able to find signs of ancient life with future missions, if life ever was present, just went up,” said Curiosity’s project scientist, Ashwin Vasavada of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington, said that with the new findings, “Mars is telling us to stay the course and keep searching for evidence of life.” . . .
NASA describes the Mars Curiosity rover, launched Nov. 6, 2011, as the most technologically advanced rover ever built. It landed on Gale Crater on Aug. 6, 2012, with the aim of determining whether Mars ever had the capacity to support microbial life.
The rover already has analyzed a rock sample collected by the vehicle in 2013 showing ancient Mars could have supported living microbes. It also detected other organic molecules in a rock-powder sample collected by its drill. (Read more from “NASA: Organic Matter Found on Mars” HERE)
New Discoveries on Mars Are Advancing the Case for Life on the Red Planet
By TIME. New Mars discoveries are advancing the case for possible life on the red planet, past or even present.
Scientists reported Thursday that NASA’s Curiosity rover has found potential building blocks of life in an ancient Martian lakebed. Hints have been found before, but this is the best evidence yet.
The organic molecules preserved in 3.5 billion-year-old bedrock in Gale Crater — believed to once contain a shallow lake the size of Florida’s Lake Okeechobee — suggest conditions back then may have been conducive to life. That leaves open the possibility that microorganisms once populated our planetary neighbor and might still exist there.
“The chances of being able to find signs of ancient life with future missions, if life ever was present, just went up,” said Curiosity’s project scientist, Ashwin Vasavada of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. (Read more from “New Discoveries on Mars Are Advancing the Case for Life on the Red Planet” HERE)