NASA finds gas on Mars that hints at the possibility of life

Space Exploration

NASA finds gas on Mars that hints at the possibility of life

Priya Wadhwa
Space Exploration
Published:
NASA finds gas on Mars that hints at the possibility of life
Testing remains a challenge

This vision is not only shared by Elon Musk's SpaceX project, but also the UAE, as evident from its centennial plan. Humans have long pondered about the possibility of life outside Earth. Today, we are at the point where we are learning more about Mars to eventually build human colonies on the red planet.

This vision is not only shared by Elon Musk's SpaceX project, but also the UAE, as evident from its centennial plan.

Now, we learn that NASA's Curiosity rover on Mars has detected startlingly high levels of methane—the gas produced by living organisms, from microbes, to bigger mammals like cows.

The quantities of methane in the Martian atmosphere are still extremely tiny, at 21 parts per billion. The reason why this is a big deal is because this amount is three times more that what the Curiosity rover detected in 2013.

The rover's operators were reportedly surprised enough to pause regularly scheduled studies to obtain follow-up data, with the additional findings slated to arrive on June 24th.
The New York Times

What has caused this gas to increase is unclear. It could be microbial life or geothermal reactions below the surface of Mars that has been escaping into its atmosphere.

Even though Curiosity has detected methane, scientists are yet to confirm it, which remains a challenge since they cannot bring back a sample or conduct testings through the rover. Perhaps the other vehicles sent to Mars could look further into this as a starting point for whether life on Mars is indeed a possibility, and if humans could one day migrate to and survive on the red planet.