Nasa Found Organic Matter, A Sign of Potential Life on Mars

This Thursday NASA announced that they found organic matter on the red planet, Mars. This discovery has several implications.

The NASA Curiosity rover found the organic matter in soil samples taken from a mudstone in the Gale crater. The rover has also detected methane (the simplest organic molecule) in the planet’s atmosphere.

Some people may assume that this means life has been found on Mars. Though that is not a guarantee. Organic matter can exist without life. It can be one of several things: a record detailing ancient life, a food source for life or something that exists in the place of life, according to CNN.

It’s also possible that if life does exist somewhere besides Earth, then it may differ from the understanding of life on Earth. Also, the data from the Curiosity rover can help researchers better visualize what Mars was like billions of years ago. This is important because during this time period the red planet was under conditions more suitable to contain life.

“With these new findings, Mars is telling us to stay the course and keep searching for evidence of life,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters. “I’m confident that our ongoing and planned missions will unlock even more breathtaking discoveries on the Red Planet.”

For decades, NASA has been exploring the surface of Mars for proof of life on another planet. This organic matter is not the end of this search but another step up onto a very large staircase. If life is found on the Mars, then in the future, it might be even possible for humans to start to colonize the planet.

The future is uncertain. Though it is approaching and it might be located at Mars.

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