According to NASA, There Are Chances Life May Have Existed on Mars

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida-New Mars discoveries are advancing the case for possible life on the red planet, past or even present.

U.S. House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) issued the following statement regarding NASA's Curiosity rover's groundbreaking discovery on Mars. Curiosity has already indicated that water flowed in Gale crater which is the same place that the rover traced the organic matter billions of years ago.

On June 7, 2018, NASA released their new findings of the red planet, Mars.

Curiosity also has confirmed sharp seasonal increases of methane in the Martian atmosphere.

"This is a very exciting discovery, but we cannot confirm the origin of these molecules yet, it could be a previous life test, but they could also belong to a meteorite or other sources", said a cautious Mahaffy in the same presentation.

NASA earlier this week announced that the Curiosity rover had started analysing drilled samples on Mars in one of its onboard labs for the first time in more than a year.

"While not necessarily evidence of life itself, these findings are a good sign for future missions exploring the planet's surface and subsurface", NASA said in the announcement.

The amount of methane peaked at the end of summer in the northern hemisphere at about 2.7 times the level of the lowest seasonal amount. Samples taken from two different drill sites on the lake bed have been found to contain complex organic molecules that look very similar to the fossilized building blocks of oil and gas on Earth.

"What the organic detections in the rock do is to add to the story of habitability". Ken Williford, an astrobiologist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, told the Washington Post "it makes us more confident that if biomarkers are there we might find them".

The studies on methane and on organic molecules were published Thursday in the journal Science.

"We have no proof that the methane is formed biologically, but we can not rule it out, even with this new data set", Webster said. "We can find organic matter preserved in mudstones that are more than 3 billion years old", Siebach said.

Webster theorizes the methane created either now or long ago is seeping from deep underground reservoirs up through cracks and fissures in the crust. It also demonstrates that organic molecules can exist on Mars's surface for billions of years. If you're interested in being part of the conversation, or have a burning question that you'd like NASA to answer, you can submit inquiries using the hashtag #askNASA up until 1 p.m. this afternoon.

NASA's Mars Helicopter, a small, autonomous rotorcraft, which will travel with the agency's Mars 2020 rover, now scheduled to launch in July 2020, to demonstrate the viability and potential of heavier-than-air vehicles on the Red Planet, is shown in this artist rendition from NASA/JPL in Pasadena, California, U.S. May 11, 2018.

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