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Rover Findings Exciting For Possible Life On Mars

Story By: Larry Stine



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What has NASA's rover discovered thus far about potential life on Mars? CNN's Erin McLaughlin has some details that have scientists getting starry eyed. "I'm scanning the galaxy for signs of hostile anti Martian activity, ooh interesting!" NASA hasn't exactly found the equal to Marvin the Martian. But they may be getting closer to finding life on Mars. All thanks to the rover, Curiosity. Since 2012, Curiosity has been scouring an ancient Martian crater, looking for signs of methane. Methane is one of the simplest organic molecules. And organics are necessary for life. So what Curiosity found, gives scientists hope. over a period of 60 Martian days, which are longer than Earth days, it detected burps, or sudden increases of methane in the crater's atmosphere. Scientists say the detections suggest the methane comes from a localized source, and possibly, from bacteria beneath the surface. "We only know of life in one place in the universe and that's on Earth," says Keith Smith of the Royal Astronomical Society. "If we find it in a second place suddenly our entire understanding of the universe changes and we are not alone" Much more work needs to be done to determine the source of the methane. It is possible the gas may not be from life at all, and there may be come other explanation. Scientists say more measurements of one of these so-called burps could reveal crucial clues. Short of that, in 2019, Europe's Exomars Rover is due to land. Exomars is equipped with a 6-foot drill. "Who do you think you are? Real Martians?" "We are!" So maybe, one day, humanity may discover, what was once the stuff of movies and television, is a reality.

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