The probability of finding life on Mars is growing.
The head of the U.S. space Agency Jim Breidenstein did not rule out the existence of life on Mars based on new discoveries.
He spoke about them at a lecture at the Fundamental library of Moscow state University.
“I was appointed NASA administrator recently, this spring, and in the next five months I have witnessed amazing discoveries, which commit both the Russian and American scientists. They have radically changed our understanding of Mars, found traces of fluctuation of methane concentration in the atmosphere,” said Breidenstein.
As the head of the space Agency, these variations “perfect match” with how they replace each other summer and winter seasons on Mars. According to him, it does not allow to speak about existence of life on the red planet, but significantly increases the likelihood of its existence, together with some other discoveries, such as the deposition of complex organics, recently found by the Mars Curiosity Rover.
For the first time the methane on Mars was discovered in 1969 on Board the probe “Mariner-7”, however, this discovery was considered false positive. Again and this time it’s for real Martian methane was discovered in 2003 by a group of astronomers led by Vladimir Krasnopolsky using the CFHT telescope installed in Hawaii.
Methane may appear during the eruption of volcanoes or the decomposition of residues of plants, but both these mechanisms can’t work on Mars, where there are no signs of volcanic activity. There are other possible non-biological sources, for example, a geothermal reaction.
According to Breidenstein, if the real traces of life or living microbes are found on Mars, this discovery will radically change how governments of all countries of the world look at the deep space research and the prospects for colonization of planets.
“I believe we can discover a life not only on Mars but also in other parts of the Solar system, for example, on Enceladus or Europa. If this happens, the attitude all of us to study other worlds radically change, since all of us want to know more about this alien life”, – concluded the head of NASA.
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