Martian microbes, maybe

Billions of years ago, Mars could have been teeming with very small Martians

By Stephen Ornes, 13:10 PM March 21, 2013


The first sample of Martian rock drilled by the rover Curiosity. Scientists say the rock provides evidence that microbes could have once lived on Mars. Credit: NASA, JPL-Caltech, MSSS  Permission: press photo, NASA public domain


In February, NASA’s Curiosity rover made history when it plunged a drill into the Martian surface to collect a powdery rock sample. Scientists now say that those bits of rock show the Red Planet may have been able to support life billions of years ago.


Curiosity didn’t find life. It didn’t stumble over footprints or alien bones. But the rock contains clues to the planet’s ancient history. Scientists already knew that a long time ago, Mars had freshwater. Life as we know it requires water. T...

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