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TheSpaceWriter's Ramblings

Mars Life Past and Present

17 Mar 2021, 21:34 UTC
Mars Life Past and Present
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

It’s almost a mantra these days: find life on the Red Planet. That’s why we’ve sent so many probes to Mars since the early 1960s. Each orbiter, lander, and rover was sent to look for evidence of Mars life in places like the scene above. This is the Octavia E. Butler Landing site for the Perseverance rover. The rocky outcrop in the short distance is a sedimentary deposit that was once part of a river delta. On Earth, this would be a perfect place to look for life.

Since the Martian surface is so barren-looking, the search for evidence of life—or, for life itself—has to be painstaking. There are no trees or plants or Martians waving at our cameras. All we see are rocks, plains, craters, mountains, and ice caps. Yet, those areas all hold clues to the Mars of the past. Those clues may even point to the existence of life there today. We just have to keep collecting data to find it.

It’s interesting to think about how we’d do the same search on Earth if we were, in fact, Martians. First, we’d train telescopes on Earth and try to figure out what the markings on the ...

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