Tuesday, 12 March 2013

NASA: Primitive Life on Ancient Mars Possible

 Two Different Aqueous Environments

March 12, 2013

PASADENA, Calif. -- An analysis of a rock sample collected by NASA's Curiosity rover shows ancient Mars could have supported living microbes.

Scientists identified sulfur, nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and carbon -- some of the key chemical ingredients for life -- in the powder Curiosity drilled out of a sedimentary rock near an ancient stream bed in Gale Crater on the Red Planet last month.

"A fundamental question for this mission is whether Mars could have supported a habitable environment," said Michael Meyer, lead scientist for NASA's Mars Exploration Program at the agency's headquarters in Washington. "From what we know now, the answer is yes."

Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory/NASA.

Wow! Ancient Mars Could Have Supported Primitive Life, NASA Says

Date: 12 March 2013 Time: 01:00 PM ET
First Curiosity Drilling Sample in the Scoop
This image from NASA's Curiosity rover shows the first sample of powdered rock extracted by the rover's drill. The image was obtained by Curiosity's Mast Camera on Feb. 20, or Sol 193, Curiosity's 193rd Martian day of operations.
CREDIT: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS
This story was updated at 3:00 p.m. EST.

It's official: Primitive life could have lived on ancient Mars, NASA says.

A sample of Mars drilled from a rock by NASA's Curiosity rover and then studied by onboard instruments "shows ancient Mars could have supported living microbes," NASA officials announced today (March 12) in a statement and press conference.

The discovery comes just seven months after Curiosity landed on Mars to spend at least two years determining if the planet could ever have hosted primitive life. To be clear, the new find is not evidence that Martian life has ever actually existed; Curiosity carries no life-detection instruments among its scientific gear.



More - Link >>> http://www.space.com/20182-ancient-mars-microbes-curiosity-rover.html

Source: Space.com .

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