By National Research Council, Division on Earth and Life Studies, Board on Life Sciences, Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences, Space Studies Board, Committee on an Astrobiology Strategy for the Exploration of Mars

3 contemporary advancements have vastly elevated curiosity within the look for existence on Mars. the 1st is new information regarding the Martian setting together with facts of a watery previous and the opportunity of atmospheric methane. the second one is the potential of microbial viability on Mars. ultimately, the imaginative and prescient for house Exploration initiative integrated an particular directive to go looking for the proof of existence on Mars. those medical and political advancements led NASA to request the NRC's assistance in formulating an updated built-in astrobiology process for Mars exploration. between different issues, this file provides a evaluation of present wisdom approximately attainable existence on Mars; an astrobiological overview of present Mars missions; a evaluation of Mars-mission planetary security; and findings and proposals. The record notes that the best bring up in realizing of Mars will come from the gathering and go back to Earth of a well-chosen suite of Martian floor fabrics.

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Extra resources for An Astrobiology Strategy for the Exploration of Mars

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Several lessons can be drawn from these controversies about Earth’s oldest life. Morphology alone is not a sufficient criterion for the identification of simple life forms. Understanding of the geological context of the sample is of prime importance, because it provides information on the environment in which the putative organism lived or was preserved. And, finally, the interpretation of geochemical analyses of extremely small samples is fraught with difficulty and sometimes ambiguity. In short, it is not enough to show that some chemical property is consistent with life, but it must also be inconsistent with abiotic formation.

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H. Carr, The Surface of Mars, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2006. 24. H. E. Head, “Oceans on Mars: An Assessment of Observational Evidence and Possible Fate,” Journal of Geophysical Research 108(E5):5042-5070, 2003. 25. H. Y. 2006; and references therein. 26. H. Sleep and K. Zahnle, “Refugia from Asteroid Impact on Early Mars and the Early Earth,” Journal of Geophysical Research 103(E12):28529-28544, 1998. 27. M. Haberle, “Early Climate Models,” Journal of Geophysical Research 103(E12):28467-28479, 1998.

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