Report: Microbial Life Possible On Ancient Mars

Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech [via USA Today]

The Facts

  • On Monday, French scientists reported that ancient Mars may have had an environment conducive for housing an underground world with microscopic organisms. The scientists concluded that if they existed, the organisms would have been responsible for their own demise by altering the atmosphere and triggering a Martian Ice Age.

  • US and French scientists collaborated using climate models to explore the habitability of Mars during the Noachian, a geological period on the red planet 4.1B - 3.7B years ago when the planet may have had water on the surface.

The Spin

Narrative A

Despite the bleak finding that life itself could be behind its own destruction, this research is exciting and offers a promising breakthrough in the study of life outside of earth: Not only does this new information suggest that habitable environments exist within our solar system, but also into the broader galaxy and universe. This will pave the way for future missions that may change our understanding of space.

Narrative B

While the idea of life on Mars is fascinating, we must be careful when researching and exploring. Sending expeditions and rovers to Mars could have unintended consequences. History has proven that every time humans explore new places they take diseases with them and bring new diseases back.

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