I’ve got some good news for life forms that rely on Dihydrogen Monoxide to survive. NASA has announced the discovery of liquid water on Mars, the presence of which greatly increases the likelihood of microbial life on the Red Planet.
“Our quest on Mars has been to ‘follow the water,’ in our search for life in the universe, and now we have convincing science that validates what we’ve long suspected,” said John Grunsfeld, astronaut and associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. “This is a significant development, as it appears to confirm that water – albeit briny – is flowing today on the surface of Mars.”
“Under certain circumstances, liquid water has been found on Mars” - Jim Green, NASA Planetary Science Directorhttps://t.co/MvErxberG3— NASA (@NASA) September 28, 2015
NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) used an on-board imaging spectrometer to detect “signatures of hydrated minerals… where mysterious streaks” were previously spotted on the planet’s surface. NASA scientists now believe the streaks are caused by trickles of water flowing during warmer periods of the Martian year.
“The mystery has been, what is permitting this flow? Presumably water, but until now, there has been no spectral signature,” NASA scientist Michael Meyer told the Guardian. "From this, we conclude that the RSL are generated by water interacting with percholorates, forming a brine that flows downhill.”
While the actual presence of life has not yet been detected, the findings give NASA a better idea of where to focus their search. The findings also present a major headache for the upcoming Matt Damon film The Martian, which I can only assume will require an immediate postponement and complete re-shoot in order to account for the new information.