Ever since I can remember, I have always wondered if there was ever life on Mars. Being the closest planet to us, I guess I have just assumed that perhaps at one time it did. Now it looks as though that was the case.
CheMin and SAM identified some of the key chemical ingredients for life in this dust, including sulfur, nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and carbon, researchers said. Intriguingly, the mix also suggested a possible energy source for indigenous Martian life, if any ever existed in the area.
"The range of chemical ingredients we have identified in the sample is impressive, and it suggests pairings such as sulfates and sulfides that indicate a possible chemical energy source for micro-organisms," Paul Mahaffy, SAM principal investigator at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., said in a statement.
So, not just the possibility of life but also an energy source for that life. Stunning! I'm hoping that as more tests are done we will learn exactly what kind of life existed on Mars. And perhaps there will be more discoveries as Curiosity continues her mission?