Life On Mars Staring Us In The Face?

A report in New Scientist suggests the evidence for life on the Red Planet could be as plain as those lumps of rocks that scatter the landscape in all the photos we’ve seen a thousand times.

There’s never been any sign of complex carbon-based molecules on Mars, but sulphur is all over the place, more than on earth. Some microbes in our own backyard convert sulphates to sulphides as a by-product of their activity. Intriguing evidence of this microbial work has been found at crater sites – and similar tests could be carried on Mars relatively easily.

All we need is a Mars Lander fitted with the right tools. Oh, one’s already planned? When’s it hitting the red dust?

NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover will land on the Martian surface in 2012. It will carry a mass spectrometer that should be sensitive enough to see variations as small as 2 per cent in sulphur isotope abundances, says John Grotzinger of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, the lead scientist for the mission.

0 thoughts on “Life On Mars Staring Us In The Face?”

  1. One of my great hopes is that I live long enough to see definitive proof of life on other planets. I firmly believe it’s there – but I like to see the proof. Of course, there’ll still be those who doubt, for whatever reason. “Life on other planets? Tuck that in the same box as dinosaurs.”

  2. Consider the adundance of life on our own tiny speck of a Planet . The Universe acts in multiples and has a billion back – ups waiting in the wings . Now space is big , really big , so vast is this Cosmos we exist within that its imagining is literally beyond human reasoning . For me ,the Universe teems and pulsates with the energies of life . Mars , our nearby neigbour , was young and vital once , a brother in life . But life , as the adage goes , is variable and the only constant is change . I will never walk on the red sands of Mars in this body , yet millenia ago we all dreamed martian dreams and wondered as we look up at the green/blue star that was the Earth . What dreams will come tomorrow ….the dance of life is eternal . All precious and fragile we will endure , change , and never cease to be .

  3. Hey Geoff,
    I subscribe to the philosophy that somewhere, somehow, other life has, does, and will exist, be it sentient or not, or whether it takes a form we might recoginse as being comparable to life as we define it.
    (That probably expalins why I read so much science fiction…)

    Otherwise my personal dance endures. Happily I leave the ranks of the unemployed this Monday :)
    And how you doing bud?

  4. Greetings Welsh – man , or Welsh name anyway , take me to your leader .
    Glad to hear that you are have found a berth on a shuttle off Planet Dole . The Universe is now your oyster .
    I`m still dancing in the streets of Cyber – Space , while still looking for a birth on a ship off planet .
    Look out for the ” C ” beams off the shoulder of Orion …..Roy .
    Have you read Mark`s latest book yet ?

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