NASA scientists say tests on a Mars rock show the planet could have supported primitive life.
At a briefing at NASA’s Washington headquarters on Tuesday, NASA scientist said that an analysis of a Mars rock sample by the Curiosity rover had unveiled minerals, including hydrogen, carbon and oxygen, that are the building blocks of life…
“A fundamental question for this mission is whether Mars could have supported a habitable environment,” said Michael Meyer, lead scientist for NASA’s Mars Exploration Programme. “From what we know now, the answer is yes…”
The rock sample was drilled from a sedimentary bedrock sample and found to contain clay minerals, sulfate minerals and other chemicals.
Based on the analysis of those chemicals, researchers were able to determine that the water that helped form the rocks were of a relatively neutral pH.
“We have found a habitable environment that is so benign and supportive of life, that probably if this water was around and you had been there, you would have been able to drink it,” said John Grotzinger, Curiosity project scientist from the California Institute of Technology.
Yes, that does give you a lot to think about. Could there have been a civilization on Mars that succeeded in destroying the ecology – and themselves? Worth reflecting on given the quality of politicians our own species is saddled with.