Video: Searching for Life on Mars

by Nancy Atkinson on October 9, 2012

Today, Mars is a barren desert. But millions of years ago could our planetary neighbor have been much more Earth-like – covered with rivers, oceans, and even life? A new video series called EPIPHANY, Dr. Ashwin Vasavada, NASA’s Deputy Project Scientist of the Mars Science Laboratory shares how the Mars Curiosity rover is going to shed new light on the ancient history of Mars and whether life could have ever existed there. While Curiosity is not equipped to look for life itself, it will look for “the ingredients of life,” the essential molecules and elements that go into living things. Already, at just 50 sols into the mission, the rover has found an ancient streambed and as Project Scientist John Grotzinger said, “We have already found our first potentially habitable environment.”


While this video provides just an overview, it is the first in a series of three, so look for more in the weeks to come.

About 

Nancy Atkinson is Universe Today's Senior Editor. She also works with Astronomy Cast, and is a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

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