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Curiosity Rover Looks Around Full Circle; Sees Once Habitable World Through The Dust

10 Sep 2018, 15:43 UTC
Curiosity Rover Looks Around Full Circle; Sees Once Habitable World Through The Dust NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

When it comes to the search for life beyond Earth, I think it would be hard to point to a body more captivating, and certain more studied, than Mars.

The Curiosity rover team concluded fairly early in its six year mission on the planet that “habitable” conditions existed on early Mars.  That finding came from the indisputable presence of substantial amounts of liquid water three billion-plus years ago, of oxidizing and reducing molecules that could provide energy for simple life, of organic compounds and of an atmosphere that was thick enough to block some of the most harmful incoming cosmic rays.

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