As the next most-habitable place in our Solar System beyond Earth, Mars is a major focus of our astrobiological efforts.
In the next few years, Mars will be visited by three new rovers searching for evidence of past and present life.
Perseverance and ExoMars may not be enough; a life detection mission that can sample Mars directly for signs of life may instead be needed.
SpaceX has set the goal of first sending a cargo mission to Mars in 2022, and following it up with a manned mission in 2024.
In recent years, many scientists favour hydrothermal vents deep in the ocean as the original source of life on Earth.
Some astrobiologists theorise that ancient Mars presented an even more suitable environment for life than the younger version of the Earth.
The idea that we are alone in this vast universe looks increasingly unlikely, given recent discoveries here and in space.
To understand the origin of life on Earth, we must understand the pathways that lead from chemistry to biology.
If abiogenesis happened on Earth, and if it happened on neighbouring worlds, there’s no telling how many times it could have happened.
Studies add weight to the idea that life arose deep in the ocean within warm, rocky structures called hydrothermal vents.
12Page 1 of 2