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NASA studies on ancient Mars lake a 'turning point' in search for life
NASA studies on ancient Mars lake a 'turning point' in search for life

Scientists working on NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory mission have been somewhat sparing until now when describing exactly how the rocks drilled, gobbled and cooked by the Curiosity rover paint a picture of a life-friendly environment. Well, no more. In a suite of findings announced Monday, the scientists are painting a vivid picture of Gale Crater: filled with a modest lake of water, rich in the chemical ingredients for life, theoretically able to support a whole Martian biosphere based on Earth-like microbes called chemolithoautotrophs. “Ancient Mars was more habitable than we imagined,” Caltech geologist John Grotzinger, the mission’s lead scientist, said of the...

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