NASA Confirms Organic Molecules On Mars — Will Life Evidence Be Next?

“Finding ancient organic molecules in the top 5 centimeters of rock  — that was deposited when Mars may have been habitable — bodes well for us to learn the story of organic molecules on Mars with future missions that will drill deeper.” – Jen Eigenbrode, Ph.D., Mars Research Scientist, Goddard Space Flight Center, MD.

“Are there signs of life on Mars? We don’t know, but these results tell us we are on the right track.”
–  Michael Meyer, Ph.D., Lead Scientist, Mars Exploration Program, NASA Headquarter

NASA held a livestreaming press conference today, on June 7th, 2018, to announce that the Curiosity Rover on Mars has confirmed both seasonal methane and organic molecules. Will evidence of life be next?

The Curiosity Rover dug down 2 inches into the Martian soil of Gale Crater on the Red Planet’s equator where water once flowed in such abundance that it carved channels in the 3-mile-high Mount Sharp at the center of the crater — as well as in the circular crater walls that span 96 miles. That’s why Gale Crater is a logical target to look for signs of life — past and present.

NASA's Curiosity rover landed in the Martian crater known as Gale Crater on August 13, 2012, which is approximately the size of Connecticut and Rhode Island combined. A green dot shows where the rover landed, well within its targeted landing ellipse, outlined in blue. This oblique view of Gale, and 3.4-mile-high Mount Sharp in the center, is derived from a combination of elevation and imaging data from three Mars orbiters. The image combines elevation data from the High Resolution Stereo Camera on the European Space Agency's Mars Express orbiter, image data from the Context Camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, and color information from Viking Orbiter imagery. There is no vertical exaggeration in the image.
NASA’s Curiosity rover landed in the Martian crater known as Gale Crater on August 13, 2012, which is near the Martian equator and 93 miles in diameter — approximately the size of Connecticut and Rhode Island combined. A small green dot inside the pale blue oval at the base of the center mountain shows where the rover landed. This oblique view of Gale and 3.4-mile-high Mount Sharp in the center is derived from a combination of elevation and imaging data from three Mars orbiters. The image combines elevation data from the High Resolution Stereo Camera on the European Space Agency’s Mars Express orbiter, image data from the Context Camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, and color information from Viking Orbiter imagery. There is no vertical exaggeration in the image.

The Curiosity Rover was able to heat the Gale Crater samples to between 932 and 1508 degrees Fahrenheit in order to study the organic molecules released through gas analysis. The organic molecules and volatiles have now been confirmed to be very similar to sedimentary rocks rich in organics on Earth such as thiopene, methylthiophenes methanethiol and dimethylsulfide.

Mars Research Scientist Jen Eigenbroder, Ph.D., at Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland told the lifestream audience: “Finding ancient organic molecules in the top 5 centimeters of rock  — that was deposited when Mars may have been habitable — bodes well for us to learn the story of organic molecules on Mars with future missions that will drill deeper.”

Michael Meyer, Ph.D., Lead Scientist for the Mars Exploration Program at NASA Headquarters added, “Are there signs of life on Mars? We don’t know, but these results tell us we are on the right track.”

The fact that Gale Crater had running water some 3 billion years ago means that the recent discovery of these organic molecules and methane reinforces the expectation that some kind of life did exist on Mars. Next up in 6 months on November 26, 2018, NASA’s InSight Lander that was launched on May 5, 2018, will land for a 2-year-mission to search for evidence that NASA describes as “geologically alive on the surface or below the surface.” 

Mars has the largest volcanoes and biggest canyon in this solar system, so one of the missions of that Lander will be to search for still active Martian earthquakes. Each time a quake happens on Mars, it will give InSight a “snapshot” of the planet’s interior. The InSight team estimates the spacecraft will see between a couple dozen to several hundred quakes over the course of the mission. The more quakes, the clearer Martian interior details will become.

One challenge will be getting a complete look at Mars using only one location. Most seismology on Earth takes measurements from multiple stations. InSight will have the planet’s only seismometer, requiring scientists to parse the data in creative ways. Bruce Banerdt, Insight’s principal investigator at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, says:  “We have to get clever. We can measure how various waves from the same quake bounce off things and hit the station at different times.”

Also see:

03-14-2018 – “Very Soon We’re Going to Mars” – Pres. Trump.


More Information:

12-22-2017 – Did NASA/JPL Fudge Xenon-129 Data for Both Mars and Venus?
04-20-2016 – From Earth to Mars: Farming with “AstroGardening” Robot
04-05-2016 – Interstellar Travel with Laser Light Propulsion
03-18-2015 – Persistent Dust Cloud and December 2014 Aurora On Mars Still Mysteries
03-01-2013 – Strange Martian Moon Phobos – Could Its Dust Have Evidence of Life?


Websites:

NASA Mars Exploration Program:  https://mars.nasa.gov/

Cydonia, the Face & Pyramid on Mars are real, claim former NASA scientists:  https://ancient-code.com/cydonia-the-face-pyramid-on-mars-are-real-claim-former-nasa-scientists/

Mars Structures and Connections Great Pyramid and Sphinx Of Egypt:  https://www.matrixdisclosure.com/mars-structures-connections-pyramid/


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