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Conditions existed for life on Mars

Curiosity finds basic building blocks for simple bacteria

09 December, 18:25
Conditions existed for life on Mars (ANSA) - Rome, December 9 - Life was possible on Mars, according to the latest soil analysis taken by NASA's Curiosity rover. The news was published Monday in a series of six articles in Science magazine. Scientists came to their conclusion when studies showed traces of water in the Gale Crater, where Curiosity landed in 2012, as well as carbon, hydrogen, sulfur, nitrogen and phosphorus. It is the first time these fundamental ingredients for life as we know it have been identified on the Red Planet. While no direct evidence of any Martian species has been found, the circumstances were conducent to hosting very simple bacteria such as chemolithoautotrophs, which draw energy from minerals, according to the report.

"We are able to demonstrate that the Gale Crater was an ancient lake with adequate characteristics to support a Martian biosphere based on chemolithoautotrophs," wrote John Grotzinger of the California Institute of Technology.