Life on Mars? Science Shows It Was Possible

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - When the Curiosity rover went crashing through the martian atmosphere in what NASA called seven minutes of terror, it got our attention.

These days the rover generates less drama.

Marshall Space Flight Center Planetary Scientist Barbara Cohen says,"Curiosity, which is our rover that's roving on Mars right now, has been spending some time investigating a rock in Gale Crater, which is its landing site."

But inside that rock, a secret festers.  A secret scientists say they've uncovered.

Cohen handles the reveal, "Mars did have at some point in time the ingredients for harboring life.  That's not the same as having life there.  But the environment there would have been pretty nice to live in, and the ingredients were there to nourish if there had been life there."

In this scientist's opinion, that life would have stirred billions of years ago.  Plus we're not talking about dinosaurs roaming the martian plains, we're talking about tiny, possibly single-cell organisms.

But as small as those specks of life might seem, they could answer some huge curiosities.

Cohen muses, "I think one of our fundamental questions is 'Are we alone?'  Is there life elsewhere?  In the solar system?  In the universe?  Out there somewhere?  So I think that's something that drives a lot of us."

So we continue searching - rock by rock.