Scientists believe that the components for life have been present on Mars for millions of years.
The revelation has come from new data from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and Mars Express spacecrafts pertaining to materials present within a large crater on the planet's surface. Rocks and materials thrown up by the impact appear to contain minerals that are believed to have been affected by water, a discovery that suggests life could have existed below the Martian surface.
"'All the ingredients were there for life, but only small single-cell organisms could have survived in those conditions," said study lead author Dr Joseph Michalski. "But I would now be more surprised if there was never any life on Mars, than I would be if we did one day discover that simple life lived in that environment."
"Research published in the journal 'Nature Geoscience' suggests that the components required to sustain simple microorganisms could have been present on Mars for much of its history."
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