NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has been unable to find any signs of methane on the Red Planet.
The presence of methane on Mars would have been a promising indicator that there was life there as on Earth over 90% of the methane in the atmosphere is produced by living organisms. Following measurements taken with Curiosity's Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument there has so far been no indication of the gas.
"The bottom line is that we have no detection of methane so far," said JPL's Chris Webster. "But we're going to keep looking in the months ahead since Mars, as we all know, may yet hold surprises for us."
"NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has detected no methane in its first analyses of the Martian atmosphere - news that will doubtless disappoint those who hope to find life on the Red Planet."
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