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life on mars

  1. Could Plants Grow on Mars? Proposed Mission Wants to Find Out

    "Bring me a shrubbery!" —Mars Curiosity Rover... probably.

    Just because no life has been found on Mars, doesn't mean life couldn't survive there—right? That's the thought behind a proposed mission that would attempt to grow a plant on the Martian surface when the next rover lands there in 2021. Besides sprucing up the place, this could pave the way for long-term settlements.

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  2. Mars Could Have Sustained Ancient Life, Says Curiosity Data

    Today NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory announced the findings collected by the Mars Curiosity Rover after it analyzed a sample it drilled from a Martian rock, and the news is some of the most exciting yet to come out of the Curiosity mission. The data shows that Mars once had conditions capable of supporting microbial life.

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  3. Some Bacteria From Earth Could Survive In Martian Atmosphere

    A team of researchers led by the University of Florida has found further evidence that some Earth-based life could survive in the to-say-the-least-inhospitable conditions of Mars. After testing 26 strains of bacteria under increasingly harsh conditions meant to represent those found on the Red Planet, the team was left with one -- Serratia liquefaciens -- could stand the low temperatures, pressures and oxygen-free conditions created in the lab to mimic those on the surface of Mars.

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  4. Follow Up: What NASA Found on Mars

    The press conference NASA held today about what the Curiosity Rover found on the surface of Mars is over, and although NASA scientists explained that they have not yet found organic compounds, they admit that they have seen organic compounds. Wait, what? This paradoxical discovery comes along with others, including the presence of chlorine and sulfur, but we're more interested in the these organic compounds. Are they there or not?

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  5. [UPDATED] Life on Mars? NASA Live Streaming Noon Press Conference to Answer (Probably Disappointingly)

    Last month NASA said that the Curiosity Rover had found something historic on Mars, and everyone's mind, ours included, jumped right to the conclusion that what they found was life, or at least evidence of life. A few days after that announcement, they basically told everyone to chill out. They said the findings were important, but not as ground-breaking as everyone seemed to think. Finally, on Friday, they straight up tweeted that what they found wasn't life. What did they find? They're holding a press conference at noon EST to make that announcement and you can watch it right here with us.

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  6. Buzz Kill: No Organic Molecules Found On Mars So Far, Says NASA

    NASA has taken it upon itself to make sure we're not all getting too excited about the possibility of life on Mars, stepping in today to let everyone know that the Curiosity Rover has not found organic molecules -- which could indicate the presence of organic life in the planet's history -- on the Red Planet.

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  7. What Did NASA Find on Mars That Has Them So Excited?

    Have you ever had to keep a secret that you really, really wanted to share, but you couldn't because the timing wasn't right? That seems like the position NASA is in right now. After a whirlwind first couple of months on the surface of the Red Planet, the rover Curiosity has been silent, idling for sometime. Analysts Earth-side are poring over data from a series of five sand samples recently analyzed in the rover's mobile chemistry lab, the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) unit. There's no word on what they've found quite yet, but researchers are willing to say that it's something big. Like, historical event big. Considering Curiosity's mission is to find life on Mars, there's pretty much just one thing that could be considered historically big news from the rover -- signs of life on Mars. Not that anyone is saying that right now -- but sometimes, the way in which you don't say something could speak more than what you do say, and this certainly feels like one of those times.

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  8. Iron “Blueberries” on Mars Could Be Clues To Ancient Microbial Life

    The above picture may not look like much, but it could be a huge deal. The photograph, taken by the Opportunity Rover at Mars' Cape York site, shows iron spherules that researchers commonly refer to as "blueberries." Similar formations are found here on Earth. The catch is that, here, they are formed with help from microbial organisms, suggesting that these unassuming iron marbles could be a telltale sign of ancient life on the red planet.

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  9. Rugged Bacteria Survive In Cold, Dry, Mars-Like Environments By Eating Iron

    It's hard to imagine that life exists somewhere on the barren, dry, cold reaches of some place like Mars. It's even harder to look for any, on Mars at least. That's why many scientists have turned to studying the extremophile microbes that live in the most inhospitable places on Earth to discover what kind of off-the-wall, unpredictable survival techniques might be used to survive out in the wastes of Mars, or anywhere else for that matter. By studying extremophiles, researchers from Portland State University have discovered a particularly gritty kind of bacteria that survives by essentially eating iron.

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  10. Study Finds That a Huge Portion of Mars Might Support Life

    The dreams of a life-sustaining Mars have mostly died away, with recent study focusing on whether or not Mars could have supported life at one point. However, a new study shows that while the surface of the red planet might be barren, the conditions under the Martian surface could support life in some form. If the work is correct, it suggests that huge areas of the planet might be more life-sustaining than originally thought.

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