Breakthrough in search for Martian life as Curiosity finds organic building blocks of life and finally unlocks the mystery of methane emissions on the red planet

Above, the Curiosity Mars rover vehicle can be seen at the site from which it drilled into a rock target called 'Buckskin' on lower Mount Sharp, where it found new evidence preserved in rocks on Mars that suggests the planet could have supported ancient life, as well as new evidence in the Martian atmosphere that relates to the search for current life on the Red Planet

‘The chances of being able to find signs of ancient life with future missions, if life ever was present, just went up,’ said Curiosity’s project scientist, Ashwin Vasavada of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

NASA revealed details on the latest findings in a press conference Thursday afternoon.

While the announcement may not be the detection of life itself, the finding address factors that are ‘fundamental to our search for life,’ explained Paul Mahaffy, director of the Solar System Exploration Division at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, during the conference.

Organic molecules contain carbon and hydrogen, as well nitrogen and other elements.

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