NASA says their Mars roaming laboratory, Curiosity, has found fresh evidence near the surface of the Red Planet that suggests it could have once supported ancient life.
The rover also found evidence, in the Martian Atmosphere, that could link into the space agency’s search for current life on the planet.
According to NASA, the new evidence for ancient Martian life includes concentrations of organic carbon the rover found in three-billion-year-old sedimentary rocks.
The rocks were taken from four areas at the base of the Red Planet’s Mount Sharp that sits in Gale Crater.
Curiosity is said to have also detected seasonal changes in the levels of the organic compound methane in the atmosphere.
The space agency stresses that while these new findings are not necessarily proof of life itself, they may provide important insights for future missions that will continue to explore the Red Planet’s surface and subsurface.
Both findings are detailed in two separate studies (Organic matter preserved in 3-billion-year-old mudstones at Gale crater, Mars & Background levels of methane in Mars’ atmosphere show strong seasonal variations), which were recently published in the journal Science.