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Life On Mars?
By European Space Agency
If life is commonplace, as some scientists expect, should it not have arisen on the nearby planet least different from the Earth, namely Mars?
Traces of torrents tell of a time, in the distant past, when surface water was more abundant than now. ESA’s Mars Express (2003) will find out what became of the water. If it exists underground, life may survive there.
The Beagle 2 lander from Mars Express will look for methane -- a sign of persistent life.