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“We can not confirm the origin of the molecules found yet, but it could be a test of previous life,” said NASA’s Director of Exploration of Solar System, Paul Mahaffy.
NASA announced this Thursday (07.06.2018) that its Curiosity explorer robot, a mission that landed on Mars in 2012, found organic molecules in rocks of the red planet formed 3 billion years ago, a finding that could indicate that there was life there.
“This is a very exciting discovery, but we can not confirm the origin of these molecules yet, it could be a previous life test, but they could also belong to a meteorite or other sources,” said Paul Mahaffy, director of the Exploration division of the NASA’s Solar System, in the channel of the space agency.
Although the reason for the creation of these molecules is still unclear, NASA noted that this type of particle could have been the food source of a hypothetical microbial life on Mars.
“We know that on Earth, microorganisms eat all kinds of organic products, and it’s a valuable food source for them,” said Jennifer Eigenbrode, of NASA’s Goddard Space Center in Maryland.
This discovery “does not certify that there was life” on that planet, according to Eigenbrode, but it does show that organisms could have survived thanks to the existence of these molecules.
The scientist explained that although the surface of Mars is “inhospitable” nowadays, the indications point to that, in the remote past, the Martian climate allowed liquid water, an essential ingredient for life such as we know, it is grouped on the surface.