Anticipation builds around new Mars rover and its search for life

NASA's Mars rover Curiosity will touch down on August 5 and there is anticipation building that the machine will be able to detect signs of life where previous efforts have failed. Fox News: Evidence of ancient life on Mars, if any such evidence exists, might be detectable at shallower depths below the planet's surface than has been thought, a new study says - which would improve the chances that NASA's newest Mars rover, scheduled to touch down on the Red Planet next month, finds it. The research indicates that simple organic molecules, such as a single molecule of formaldehyde, could exist a mere 2 to 4 inches beneath the Martian surface. While the radiation level at these depths is still intense, simple building blocks of life (and, in the case of young craters, perhaps even complex building blocks) could survive, the researchers said. The study, which suggests ideal locations and depths to search for organic molecules, could act as a road map for the Curiosity rover, ...(Read Full Post)