Planets and Moons  ID: 12951

Ancient Organics Discovered on Mars

Since arriving at Mars in 2012, NASA's Curiosity rover has drilled into rocks in search of organics – molecules containing carbon. Organics are the building blocks of all life on Earth, though they can also come from non-living sources. The surface of Mars readily destroys these molecules, making them difficult to detect. Now, Curiosity has discovered ancient organics that have been preserved in rocks for billions of years. This finding helps scientists better understand the habitability of early Mars, and it paves the way for future missions to the Red Planet.

Learn more about this discovery, or visit NASA's Mars Exploration Program. For an in-depth explanation of the results, watch the NASA-TV broadcast featuring members of the Curiosity science team.

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Jennifer Eigenbrode (NASA/GSFC)

Dan Gallagher (USRA)

Jennifer Eigenbrode (NASA/GSFC)
Paul Mahaffy (NASA/GSFC)

Dan Gallagher (USRA)

Science Writer:
William Steigerwald (NASA/GSFC)

Rob Andreoli (Advocates in Manpower Management, Inc.)

Production Assistant:
John Caldwell (Advocates in Manpower Management, Inc.)

Lisa Poje (Freelance)
Josh Masters (USRA)
Walt Feimer (KBR Wyle Services, LLC)
Michael Lentz (USRA)
Chris Smith (SLAC)
John Blackwell (LPI)

Project Support:
Molly Wasser (ADNET Systems, Inc.)

Technical Support:
Aaron E. Lepsch (ADNET Systems, Inc.)

Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center