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Can organisms survive on Mars, and can we identify them?

Earth is a very special planet. It is the only celestial body in the solar system on which we know life exists. Could there be life on other planets or moons? Mars is always the first mentioned in this context; it has many ...

Asteroids, hydrogen make great recipe for life on Mars

A new study reveals asteroid impacts on ancient Mars could have produced key ingredients for life if the Martian atmosphere was rich in hydrogen. An early hydrogen-rich atmosphere on Mars could also explain how the planet ...

Rehearsing for the Mars landings in Hawaii and Idaho

Imagine astronauts on Mars, tasked with picking rock samples that will be used by scientists to search for signs of life. But they can only transport a limited number back to Earth. What should they look for? Are some types ...

Complex life might require a very narrow habitable zone

Since the Kepler Space Telescope was launched into space, the number of known planets beyond the solar system (exoplanets) has grown exponentially. At present, 3,917 planets have been confirmed in 2,918 star systems, while ...

First evidence of planet-wide groundwater system on Mars

Mars Express has revealed the first geological evidence of a system of ancient interconnected lakes that once lay deep beneath the Red Planet's surface, five of which may contain minerals crucial to life.

Clues to Martian life found in Chilean desert

A robotic rover deployed in the most Mars-like environment on Earth, the Atacama Desert in Chile, has successfully recovered subsurface soil samples during a trial mission to find signs of life. The samples contained unusual ...

NASA study reproduces origins of life on ocean floor

Scientists have reproduced in the lab how the ingredients for life could have formed deep in the ocean 4 billion years ago. The results of the new study offer clues to how life started on Earth and where else in the cosmos ...

Research creates DNA-like molecule to aid search for alien life

In a research breakthrough funded by NASA, scientists have synthesized a molecular system that, like DNA, can store and transmit information. This unprecedented feat suggests there could be an alternative to DNA-based life, ...

Stellar corpse reveals clues to missing stardust

Everything around you – your desk, your laptop, your coffee cup – in fact, even you – is made of stardust, the stuff forged in the fiery furnaces of stars that died before our sun was born. Probing the space surrounding ...

Mars 2020 landing site offers unique opportunities

In 2020, NASA's next rover will launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and head to the Jezero Crater on Mars. Jezero was once home to an ancient lake-delta system that scientists believe may have captured ...

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