Today during a NASA news briefing on the progress that the Curiosity rover is making on Mars, scientists have revealed evidence that point to conditions of habitable life on the Red Planet. An analysis of rock samples that were collected by the Curiosity rover shows that Mars could have supported living microbes at one point in time.
Scientists have identified some key components in the rock samples that are critical to sustain life, including sulfur, nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, and carbon. The sample is from the hole that Curiosity drilled near an ancient stream bed in Gale Crater last month. The rover took the dust that was produced from the hole in order to test it effectively.
The image above compares two rocks, the one on the left seen by NASA’s Opportunity rover and the one on the right seen by the Curiosity rover at two different locations on Mars. Scientists think the particles in the rock on the left were formed from water, as were the darker bumps all over the rock.
Michael Meyer, lead scientist for NASA’s Mars Exploration Program says that based on the evidence found and from what scientists know so far, Mars could have very well likely supported a habitable environment at some point. Scientists found a mixture of oxidized and non-oxidized chemicals, which provides evidence that proves a similar method of how microbes on Earth live.