Curiosity Rover finds ancient 'building blocks for life' on Mars

By Mike Wall
June 07, 2018, 5:36:35 PM EDT


If you're holding out hope that Mars may have once been an inhabited world, two new studies should put a little spring in your step.

NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has identified a variety of organic molecules, the carbon-based building blocks of life as we know it, in 3.5-billion-year-old Red Planet rocks, one of the papers reports.

curiosity

NASA's Curiosity Mars rover took this self-portrait on Jan. 23, 2018, on the slopes of the towering Mount Sharp. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS


"These results do not give us any evidence of life," stressed study lead author Jennifer Eigenbrode, a scientist at the Solar System Exploration Division at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

"But there is a possibility that [the organics] are from an ancient life source; we just don't know," Eigenbrode told Space.com. "And even if life was never around, they [the molecules] tell us there was at least something around for organisms to eat."

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