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Video: Searching for Life on Mars

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.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Jeffrey Scott Boerst October 10, 2012, 5:34 PM

    I’ve been hearing throughout this mission so far from UT folks such as you, Nancy and others online that NASA is being very guarded about using terms such as “looking for life” rather than merely seeking signs of environs past and present that would have been/be capable of supporting it. So this seems strange now to me that someone associated with the project has now changed the vocabulary. Any ideas as to why?

    • Jeffrey Scott Boerst October 10, 2012, 5:40 PM

      (changes the vocab at least per the title of this video)

    • HeadAroundU October 10, 2012, 6:03 PM

      UT uses dirty tactics too, to catch people’s attention. They post controversial pics with homosexual hints. They make it difficult to delete certain parts of the page. They copy the same sentence in every article: Want to stay on top of all the space news? Follow on”. It’s a simple textad.

    • SJStar October 11, 2012, 9:14 AM

      Simple. They think it will grab the attention of more American punters. Since most are too ignorant to understand (they already think life already exists on Mars) or too unwilling to care, it will likely make little difference.

      • spew October 11, 2012, 3:36 PM

        Uggg… there’s a troll under every bridge, eh?

        You say America with such conviction it seems as if there is envy underneath it all. Where’s your national space program? That’s right, all you do is hang around reading NASA websites. Why don’t you go read about your own country’s space program and try to see if there’s even one to consider lodging a complaint.

      • spew October 11, 2012, 3:37 PM

        The ignorance that flows out of you is very outstanding. Come with more than just American envy. Give yourself a challenge and try thinking for a change.

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