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NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover, slowly making its way up the side of a towering mountain of sedimentary rock at the center of its Gale Crater landing site, has found fresh evidence for the red planet’s past — and possibly present — habitability, scientists reported Thursday. NASA announced Thursday the nuclear-powered rover has detected a variety of organic compounds

These organic compounds, a requirement for life as it’s known on Earth, were found in 3-billion-year-old rocks deposited on the floor of Gale Crater. While organics were discovered by the rover earlier, the age and variety of the newly analyzed samples strengthen the case for a habitable environment in the past.

The article goes on to state the following:

“We found organic molecules in rocks from an ancient lakebed,” said Jen Eigenbrode, a research scientist and astrobiologist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. “Those organic molecules could have come from life.”

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