NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity finds building blocks for life on red planet

NASA Life on Mars NASA discovery Curiosity Rover

NASA Life on Mars NASA discovery Curiosity Rover

The second evidence comes from Mars' atmosphere and relates to the search for current life on the red planet.

"When you work with something as insane as a rover on Mars, with the most complex instrument ever sent to space, it seems like we're doing what may have been perceived earlier as impossible", says lead author Jennifer Eigenbrode, a biogeochemist at NASA Goddard.

A NASA robot has detected more building blocks for life on Mars - the most complex organic matter yet - from 3.5 billion-year-old rocks on the surface of the Red Planet, scientists said Thursday. Scientists already knew billions of years ago liquid water existed on Mars and the crater had an ancient lake.

The Curiosity rover has lasted three times as long as it was meant to and is still going, which helped with the study of seasonal methane cycles.

Arriving at Mars in 2012 with a drill and its own onboard labs, Curiosity confirmed the presence of organics in rocks in 2013, but the molecules weren't exactly what scientists expected. "While not necessarily evidence of life itself, these findings are a good sign for future missions exploring the planet's surface and subsurface", the space agency said.

But the discovery of organic material does not instantly prove Mars was once abundant with life. They can come from living and nonliving sources, but because many are necessary for and produced by life on Earth, they're considered possible biosignatures - signs of the presence of life.

"The thing about the chlorinated molecules is that it's not what you'd typically find in natural samples, and so we weren't sure what the significance was at the time", Jennifer Eigenbrode of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, lead author of one of the papers, said in a briefing. They thought mudstone rocks, formed from silt accumulated at the bottom of the ancient lake, might hold some clues and analyzed the powdered samples from Curiosity's Sample Analysis at Mars instrument suite.

Israel security agency 'foils plot to harm Netanyahu'
Barkat said in a statement that he was kept informed about development during the investigation and had not changed his routine. The vast majority of casualties have been unarmed, with journalists, medics, teenagers and two women among the dead.

Inorganic carbon is carbon that is found in compounds that are completely unlike biological molecules.

The samples were heated to 500C in Curiosity's oven to release any organic molecules, the kind that don't vaporise easily.

The source is still unclear, but it may be stored in the cold Martian subsurface in water-based crystals called clathrates, researchers said.

But life-hunting Mars missions are coming, and soon.

By examining data spanning almost three Martian years (six Earth years), Webster and his colleagues discerned the first repeating pattern in Martian methane. Both the atmospheric methane and the preserved carbon have inspired confidence that NASA's forthcoming Mars 2020 rover and the European Space Agency's ExoMars rover could uncover additional evidence for ancient life on the Red Planet. "So way under the ground this methane is trapped".

Additional data from the robotic probe confirms the detection of "seasonal patterns" in methane levels, NASA geophysicist Ashwin Vasvada said in the live-streamed announcement. In fact, thiophenes are pretty simple molecules that are just a 5-sided carbon ring, but with a sulfur molecule replacing a carbon atom. The mission's Trace Gas Orbiter arrived at Mars in late 2016, and it's now collecting data that will let scientists map Mars's methane-and maybe even pinpoint its sources.

Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters, praised the findings and said he is positive NASA's search for alien life is headed in the right direction.

Recommended News

  • TV The Trailer For The Girl in the Spider's Web Is Here

    TV The Trailer For The Girl in the Spider's Web Is Here

    Absolutely no one would confuse the regal Queen Elizabeth II with the unforgettable Lisbeth Salander from The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo .
    Dutch queen's sister found dead at Buenos Aires home

    Dutch queen's sister found dead at Buenos Aires home

    Between 2009 and 2011 she worked at the United Nations headquarters of Panama but returned to Argentina in 2012 after a breakup. Queen Maxima of the Netherlands' sister was found dead of an apparent suicide on Wednesday night, the BBC reports.
    Armored vehicle stolen from Virginia military base, leads police on chase

    Armored vehicle stolen from Virginia military base, leads police on chase

    Police say a soldier stole a military vehicle and led law enforcement officers on a 75-mile chase through Virginia . The driver of the vehicle has not been identified at this time, nor is his motive for stealing the vehicle clear.
  • LeBron James punched white board, played NBA Finals with injured hand

    LeBron James punched white board, played NBA Finals with injured hand

    The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor reported there is a feeling around the league that the Lakers have a legitimate chance to sign James. It does make sense for James to sign with the Warriors from the standpoint that he wants to win more rings.
    Pixel 3 To Feature A Notch And All-Glass Construction

    Pixel 3 To Feature A Notch And All-Glass Construction

    Sure they feature designs that were already outdated when they were released, but the phones themselves are terrific. If that sounds familiar, the approach mirrors what Google has achieved with the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL smartphones.
    Warriors Can Win It All

    Warriors Can Win It All

    He scored 43 points, grabbed 13 rebounds and dished out seven assists, and he made four 3-pointers from 30-plus feet. Afterwards, he dismissed comparisons to his 2017 shot and focused on Golden State still needing a fourth victory.
  • Kate Spade Laughs, Jokes With Husband in One of Her Final Interviews

    Kate Spade Laughs, Jokes With Husband in One of Her Final Interviews

    Ten years ago I tackled it, learned to fully understand it and have not felt the dark depths of depression in about a decade. But the according to the report , more than half of people who died by suicide did not have a known mental health condition.

    Melania Doesn't Believe Trump Had Sex with Stormy Daniels, Rudy Giuliani Says

    Giuliani is an absolute pig for making those comments". "But she has posed nude for GQ magazine back in 2000". First lady Melania Trump's office is sending a strong and clear message when it comes to Rudy Giuliani: Mrs.
    New crew blasts off for ISS

    New crew blasts off for ISS

    The spacecraft, launched this day into space by the carrier rocket Sozuz-FG, went into space and began its flight independently. They would be joining the existing crew of three on the station.
  • Embiid and rest of the National Basketball Association  already recruiting LeBron

    Embiid and rest of the National Basketball Association already recruiting LeBron

    All three championships have come against the Cavaliers, with the series clincher coming in Cleveland for the second time . A great way to watch Rockets vs Warriors Game 4 online live streaming without cable tonight is through Hulu Live TV .
    Harry Kane sends message to Spurs fans after signing new deal

    Harry Kane sends message to Spurs fans after signing new deal

    Indeed, it's reported that his weekly wage will be somewhere near the £200,000 mark once all relevant bonuses are chucked in. Kane is now the leading scorer in the Premier League era for Tottenham after surpassing Teddy Sheringham's total of 97.
    3 takeaways from Game 3 vs. Warriors

    3 takeaways from Game 3 vs. Warriors

    The latest report involves the team that the world's greatest basketball player is now trying to defeat in the 2018 NBA Finals. The Patriots won three Super Bowls in four years between 2001 and 2004 and have since added two more in 2014 and 2016.

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.