NASA Briefs White House on Possible Martian Life

Red planet could support greenery, reports show
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 2, 2008 3:23 PM CDT
This image provided by NASA shows a color-enhanced image of the delta in Jezero Crater, which once held a lake.    (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – NASA has briefed the White House on its plan to announce a new finding on the "potential for life" on Mars, Aviation Week reports. NASA has no evidence that the red planet has harbored life, but new Phoenix lander discoveries suggest it is possible—a finding that Phoenix officials call far more “provocative” than the mere presence of water.

The water discovery came as no surprise to researchers: “They have discovered water on Mars for the third or fourth time,” one senior Mars scientists joked. But new results from laboratory tests are more complex. Already, MECA wet-chemistry researchers have announced finding “Earth-like” soil chemistry in the samples. NASA is expected to announce its findings as early as mid-August.