We’ve talked about that important announcement NASA said they’ll make on 7 June. If you haven’t watched the streamed event, then here’s a summary of what they stated.
Mars Curiosity Rover found ‘building blocks for life’ on Mars, which are, according to the US space agency, a complex organic matter in the rocks on the surface of Mars. The rocks are 3.5 billion-year-old
Analyzing pieces of rock in different seasons, Curiosity found that the rocks have variation of methane which differs from season to season. So far, scientists have a few theories: methane may come from the planet itself, or from water under its surface.
A Significant Breakthrough
The third theory we’ve all been wanting to prove it’s true is that methane could be created by life on Mars. Curiosity drilled into the Gale crater, the lowest point of Mars’ crater, in search for organic molecules. This way, the agency could find out if there was or still is life on Mars.
Jennifer Eigenbrode is an astrobiologist at NASA, highlighting how important this discovery is:
“This is a significant breakthrough because it means there are organic materials preserved in some of the harshest environments on Mars.”
The robotic probe showed that methane levels have “seasonal patterns,” added NASA geophysicist Ashwin Vasvada in the live stream event.
NASA scientist Chris Webster added that there is water on the martian surface and it has been present for “a very long time,” meaning that it could make the planet a “habitable environment”.
Webster admitted that there might be some active biological processes due to the “repeatable identifiable methane cycle.”
Since Curiosity landed on Mars in 2012, only recent drills into the Mars’ gale crater show evidence of life.
“And maybe we can find something better preserved than that, that has signatures of life in it,” Eigenbrode concluded.
Andre Blair s is the lead editor for Advocator.ca. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andre specializes in environmental health, but writes on a variety of issues.