Mars Curiosity Rover Finds Samples Of Key Life Ingredient

Rock samples gathered from Mars by NASA’s Curiosity rover have actually exposed indications of crucial components of life, according to a statement by the agency. The July 18th news release kept in mind the discovery of high levels of natural carbon, a crucial basis for particles determined for the very first time on the red world.

“Total organic carbon is one of several measurements  indices that help us understand how much material is available as feedstock for prebiotic chemistry and potentially biology,” said Jennifer Stern of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

“We found at least 200 to 273 parts per million of organic carbon. This is comparable to or even more than the amount found in rocks in very low-life places on Earth, such as parts of the Atacama Desert in South America, and more than has been detected in Mars meteorites,” she added.

The initial experiment was performed in 2014, nevertheless, the research study took numerous years of analysis to analyze the information and launch the outcomes, according to NASA.

“To make the measurement, Curiosity delivered the sample to its Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument, where an oven heated the powdered rock to progressively higher temperatures. This experiment used oxygen and heat to convert the organic carbon to carbon dioxide (CO2), the amount of which is measured to get the amount of organic carbon in the rocks. Adding oxygen and heat allows the carbon molecules to break apart and react carbon with oxygen to make CO2,” NASA explained.

The heated minerals then decayed the products to launch the carbon and transform it to CO2 in the research study.

The Mars exploration program noted that “organic carbon on Mars does not prove the existence of life there because it can also come from nonliving sources, such as meteorites, volcanoes, or be formed in place by surface reactions.” Organic carbon has actually been discovered found on Mars prior to, the brand-new measurement offers the overall quantity of natural carbon in the rock samples.

The news follows another NASA experiment that recommends the look for life on Mars might need digging deeper following the discovery that cosmic rays most likely rapidly ruin amino acids that would be discovered on the red world’s surface area.

As The Daily Wire previously reported, the discovery of amino acids on Mars would be a substantial step in the look for Martian life, as they are a crucial element to structure proteins in terrestrial life.

“Our results suggest that amino acids are destroyed by cosmic rays in the Martian surface rocks and regolith at much faster rates than previously thought,” Alexander Pavlov of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center said.

“Current Mars rover missions drill down to about two inches (around five centimeters). At those depths, it would take only 20 million years to destroy amino acids completely. The addition of perchlorates and water increases the rate of amino acid destruction even further,” he added.

The research study likewise showed that present drilling by rovers on Mars would be not likely to find any indications of ancient life at their existing depths.

The Curiosity objective has actually likewise caused the current release of numerous top quality images that have actually offered extra proof of ancient water on Mars.

H/T The Daily Wire

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