NASA recently announced water has been found on Mars’ surface with the evidence to back it up.
Scientists have found dark streaks and large carvings on Mars’ surface only known to be caused by the flow of water, according to reports.
Delta Astronomy Professor Lincoln Lee said the discovery has two implications for space exploration.
“Since water plays such an important role in all Earth-based life forms, the thought is if there is water, then there is the possibility that life could be found. Secondly, NASA has a goal of landing humans on the surface of Mars by the 2030s,” said Lee in an email interview.
A manned trip to Mars could only include so much water, so finding a source on the red planet aids in the possibility of a trip happening.
Lee also addressed the notion that there could be life on Mars.
“It might fractionally increase the probability for them to find some type of life form, but nevertheless, in my opinion, the probability would still be small,” said Lee.
The reason the possibility of life on Mars is still quite scarce, is because the atmosphere is one that would harm life rather than provide it.
When scientists try to explain other worlds’ chances of sustaining life, they often use what is known about Earth as a comparison. Mars’ atmospheric conditions are more hostile than Earth’s.
The same may be true for the water.
“If they were to analyze Martian water with these tools and found bacteria or organisms that are found on Earth, how could we tell that it was definitely from Mars and not due to the contamination from our machines/tools?” said Lee.