posted on Mar, 12 2013 @ 05:33 PM
NASA Rover finds conditions once suited for ancient forms of life
, from NASA
NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Project has been using Curiosity to investigate whether an area within Mars' Gale Crater ever has offered an
environment favorable for microbial life. Curiosity, carrying 10 science instruments, landed seven months ago to begin its two-year prime
mission...and it's beginning to look like a success.
SPASADENA, 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.
Scientists were surprised to find a mixture of oxidized, less-oxidized, and even non-oxidized chemicals, providing an energy gradient of the sort many
microbes on Earth exploit to live. This partial oxidation was first hinted at when the drill cuttings were revealed to be gray rather than red. "The
range of chemical ingredients we have identified in the sample is impressive, and it suggests pairings such as sulfates and sulfides that indicate a
possible chemical energy source for micro-organisms," said Paul Mahaffy, principal investigator of the SAM suite of instruments at NASA's Goddard
Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.
Amazing discovery! Could this have been the big reveal from NASA that never came? Exciting times we live in!
I'm sure this will lead to more Intersting discoveries in the near future. All the signs are pointing towards
Mars once having a habitable environment. Arken, where ever you are, I'm sure you are smiling.
I'll comment more when I get home from work, just had to share. Enjoy!
"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."
edit on 12-3-2013 by ArchaicDesigns because: (no reason given)