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Microbe Life on Mars

NASA has made a startling discovery that points to the possibility that a primitive form of microscopic life may have existed on Mars more than three billion years ago. The research is based on a sophisticated examination of an ancient Martian meteorite that landed on Earth some 13,000 years ago. The evidence is exciting, even compelling, but not conclusive. It is a discovery that demands further scientific investigation. NASA is ready to assist the process of rigorous scientific investigation and lively scientific debate that will follow this discovery. I want everyone to understand that we are not talking about 'little green men.' These are extremely small, single- cell structures that somewhat resemble bacteria on Earth. There is no evidence or suggestion that any higher life form ever existed on Mars. -- Daniel Goldin, Administrator, NASA, 1996

articles & documents

Evidence of Martian life dealt critical blow

NASA Astrobiology Institute, November 23, 2001

There may have once been (and perhaps still is) life on Mars, but the evidence for it is barely stirring. R

Scientists Find Evidence of Ancient Microbial Life on Mars

NASA Astrobiology Institute, February 28, 2001

An international team of researchers has discovered compelling evidence that magnetite crystals in the Martian meteorite ALH84001 are of biological origin. R

Why Microbes Matter

David M. Warmflash, NASA Astrobiology Institute

Research of possible microbial life on Mars can lead to advances in biotechnology and medicine while, at the same time, bringing us closer to understanding our origins. R