One third of Mars was covered in water and heavy rains eroded its network of deep valleys

<pre><pre>One third of Mars was covered in water and heavy rains eroded its network of deep valleys

Over the years, scientists have found a number of promising signs that life may have been present on Mars, including evidence of water, chemical reactions and expansive ice lakes below the surface.

Life on Mars is unlikely to have flowered on the surface, given the harsh conditions, including radiation, solar winds and cold temperatures.

As a result, many scientists believe that organisms evolved to live below the surface of the Red Planet.

In November 2016, Dr. Christian Schröder, professor of environmental sciences and planetary exploration at the University of Stirling, said: "For life to exist in the areas we investigate, you should find pockets well below the surface, away from the dryness and radiation present in the soil. & # 39;

This is supported by evidence of water below the surface.

Researchers have identified mudstones and sedimentary bands on Mars, which only form when water is present for thousands of years.

Large oceans of ice have also been discovered, lying just below the surface of the planet.

The presence of ice and water beneath the Red Planet greatly increases the chances that there would once be at least microscopic life on Mars and that some form of the organism might be living there today.

"Anywhere on Earth where we find liquid water we find life," said Jim Crocker, vice president of Space Systems at Lockheed Martin in August 2016.

"It is very exciting to understand the possibility that life could have started on Mars before it lost its atmosphere, and perhaps even on the deepest surfaces, where the water is still liquid due to the heat of the planet, there may be bacterial life."

Having water just below the surface also means that human colonies could survive and even thrive on the planet and indicate that the fuel for manned space flight could be manufactured there.

In 2017, NASA's Curiosity rover also found evidence of boron on the surface of the red planet.

This is another key ingredient for life, and scientists say that the finding is a great impulse in the search for life.

Boron was unearthed in the Gale Cater, which is 3,800 million years old, younger than the probable formation of life on Earth.

That means that the conditions from which life could have potentially grown may have existed on ancient Mars, long before organisms began to develop on Earth.

A controversial 2001 study on a 4.5 billion-year-old meteorite, called ALH84001, found in the Allan Hills icefield in Antarctica in 1984, said it had definitive proof of life on Mars.

Meteorite ALH84001 was launched by a comet or asteroid to the surface of Mars 15 million years ago, and NASA researchers said it contains evidence that the Red Planet was once full of insects that lived on the bottom of shallow ponds. and lakes.

They also suggested that there would be plants or organisms capable of photosynthesis and complex ecosystems on Mars.

However, British experts said at the time that the evidence, although exciting, should be treated with caution and could not be considered conclusive, since many non-biological chemical processes could also explain what was discovered.

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