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first_imgWhether it has been driven by the science fiction aspect of entertainment in our lives today, or a general interest about our neighboring planets, we’ve always wanted to know if there is life on other planets. According to NASA, fueled by the research with by the Opportunity and Curiosity rovers, there was a time when Mars was capable of supporting life.A resent NASA conference (available below) explored the results of experiments conducted during the exploration of Mars with Curiosity and Opportunity, two of the rovers that have been sent to the Red Planet for remote analysis. The most recent rover, Curiosity, was sent with what is essentially chemistry lab on wheels, as well as a massive laser for more in-depth experiments on the surface of Mars. The discovery of an ancient streambed by the Curiosity team has allowed them to state definitively that there was a time when microbial life could have thrived on the surface of Mars.Curiosity’s SAM and CheMin instruments have been working with sampled picked up from the streambed, and have discovered what are considered key chemical ingredients needed to support life. The Gale Crater sediment was found to contain hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, carbon, and sulfur among other necessary ingredients. This information leads scientists to believe that there was a time where the surface of Mars was wet, and these materials would have existed in clay that lay under the water. At some point, a dramatic change led to the harshly acidic and salty surface that covers Mars today.NASA scientists are now able to picture an ancient Mars that would have been grey with life instead of the red that exists now. The Mars Science Laboratory notes that these discoveries are just the beginning to reveal the history of this planet, and what may have existed on the surface well before we started looking up and wondering if we were alone in the Universe. Curiosity has everything on-board needed to continue researching the surface for years to come.Watch the full 70 minute video here:last_img read more

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