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Could there ever be life on Mars…

The effect of the winds of Mars

Could there ever be life on Mars…

Made famous by the lyrics of the sadly missed David Bowie, this question has been vexing great scientific minds all over the world for ‘eons’ but now, this month, a new mission – a joint endeavour between the European Space Agency and Russia’s Roscosmos space agency – will attempt to provide further answers to this important question in space exploration and understanding.

The mission entitled EXOMars 2016 will explore whether methane discovered on Mars during a 2004 mission – ESA’s Mars Express mission – has ever been or could be in the present or future a vital source of supporting life on the ‘red planet’. Methane on Earth is generally understood to be produced by living organisms – and it may be tempting to assume that this is proof of life on Mars – however, it has also been proven that the gas can be produced from events such as hydrothermal reactions between water and minerals which are not influenced by living organisms. So the question remains…

Whatever the data suggests, the very presence of methane on Mars suggests that the planet has more potential to be ‘alive’- and it follows – to support life than scientists may have initially thought.

EXOMars 2016 will be followed by EXOMars 2018 which plans to use a rover and physical contact with the surface of Mars to take further measurements and data which can be used to develop the answers already existing within the scientific community about whether life on Mars is possible, plausible and likely to be supported in the future…

Here at One Giant Read we’re excited to see if this means that a possible new world for mankind exists within our solar system and whether life on Mars will become a realised possibility. Whilst we’re waiting for the results of the mission, let’s leave it to the “starman” himself to ask that all important question …