Life on Mars: Fact or Fiction?
When asked about their belief in the existence of alien life, nearly 70% of the American public says that they believe in the possibility of life on other planets. The discovery of extra-terrestrial life would be one of the most important scientific discoveries of all time. The announcement that fossilized microorganisms may have been found in a Martian meteorite fueled excitement in the scientific community.
Mars, the frozen planet that takes it’s red appearance from the iron oxides in it’s atmosphere, has long been held as the nearest planet possible of containing life. With its mountains, canyons, and volcanoes, the planet’s topography is very much like Earth’s. On Earth, water is believed to be the source of life, and the information sent back to NASA by Mars Rovers shows that Mars was once a very wet planet. What caused the dramatic shift in the Martian climate? Does life still exist deep in the caverns of Mars or under its surface? Those questions are still being explored. In the future, life on Mars may actually be human. Scientists continue to research the possibility of creating future colonies on Mars.
Organizations Dedicated to Researching Life on Mars
- JPL: The Jet Propulsion Lab’s Mars program
- The Planetary Society: Dedicated to exploring the possibility of extra-terrestrial life
- ESA Mars Express: The European Space Agency’s Mars program
Evidence and Theories of Life of Mars
- Triple the Evidence of Martian Life: Further studies on 3 meteorites
- Fossil Life on ALH 84001: An examination of the Martian meteorite
- Mars News: An updated collection of news items about Mars
- Did Life Come from Another World?: A Scientific American article exploring the possibility of Martian microorganisms traveling to Earth
- Australian Lakes May Hold Clues to Life on Mars: A study on Australian lakes may provide information on how microorganisms lived on Mars
Past and Future Missions to Mars
- Phoenix Mars Mission: This lander collected data on Mars for 5 months
- A Simulated Flight: An article on an experiment simulating a flight to Mars
- Viking Lander Image Archives: The complete collection of raw images from the 2 Viking landers
- Lander May Rise from the Dead: An article on the attempt to revive the frozen Phoenix lander
- The Moon a Dead End?: Arguments for abandoning future trips to the moon and focusing on future expeditions to Mars
- Federation of American Scientists: Scientific goals in the exploration of Mars
- The Red Colony: A source for articles and information on colonizing and terra-forming Mars