Part 2: Martian Water Ice and Organic Molecules – NASA Will Look for ‘Unique Signs of Life’ on Mars

"Is the overlap of methane and water on Mars evidence of geothermal activity on Mars? Or is it evidence of biology? That's the question which we all want to answer."

- Michael J. Mumma, NASA Astrophysicist

September 21, 2004  Greenbelt, Maryland - NASA scientists began searching for methane on Mars in 1989. By 2002, the NASA infrared facility in Hawaii with its high resolution spectroscopy began to detect methane. In 2003, the Mars Odyssey's neutron and gamma-ray sensors had tracked seasonal changes of carbon dioxide "dry ice" and water ice. As the dry ice dissipated with the seasonal changes in temperatures, water ice was confirmed to be 90% by volume in some places in the Northern Hemisphere.


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