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Friday, May 30, 2008

Mars Had Water, But Could It Sustain Life?

No longer are we debating the fact that there was at one time water on Mars, but could it have sustained life? "If Martian life had to contend with the conditions we found, it certainly would have had a tough time," said Nicholas Tosca, a Harvard University geochemist who used data collected by the Mars rover Opportunity and other probes. "If there is a window of life to survive on Mars, it's probably pushed back to when the planet was very young," Tosca told Discovery News. "From what we know about the origins of life on Earth, an acid pH and high salinity might not have worked so well for the evolution of life on Mars,". It will be interesting to see if the arctic adventures of the recently landed Phoenix mission change these finding in any way... more data please.