In 2017, NASA’s Mars Curiosity swept up the first samples of Martian dirt. Successful researchers have teamed up to test those samples. Using chemical reagents, a mixture was prepared inside the cup. As the mixture cooled, organic molecules were released, which NASA did not investigate or detect ever before. Scientists and researchers have been trying to untangle the mystery behind this discovery.
According to the team of researchers, they conducted the rover’s wet chemistry experiments, which were successful, and, they found two evident chemicals present in the mixture; ammonia and benzoic acid. Both of these chemicals are clear indicators of ancient life. While searching for organic molecules on Mars, the scientists aimed to understand and learn about the past viability for life on Mars, and are looking to discover where these molecules originated.
In addition to showing the past habitability of Mars, the studies also suggest that these molecules might have developed from the planet’s geological processes. Moreover, these studies have demonstrated that the onboard experiment technique of the rover can be used to explore organic molecules. Scientists have carried out these experiments without drilling any holes into the rocks. According to the researchers, these organic molecules are complex and were floating around on the lake of Mars over 3 billion years ago.
The organic molecules found are made from carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, and many other elements as well. An analysis by Curiosity shows that billions of years ago, a lake inside the Gale cavity had everything necessary for life, including synthetic structure blocks, energy sources, and fluid water. Observing and finding antiquated carbon preserved right on the Martian surface gives researchers certainty that NASA’s Mars 2020 rover and the European Space Agency’s ExoMars rover will find considerably more organic material on a superficial level.
The rover was originally planned to be used during a two-year mission to accumulate information and samples to help understand if the planet could uphold life, have fluid water, as well as study the environment and geology of Mars. But because of its success, the mission has been expanded endlessly and has now been active for more than 2,000 days. Moreover, the rover has a few logical instruments ready, including the Mast Cam, which comprises two cameras and can take high-goal pictures and recordings in genuine shading.
Further investigations of Mars will ideally find more components of the planet that could uncover much more with regard to its origin and what conditions could potentially support life there. Furthermore, as the astrobiologists’ study shows, there might be more associations between Earth and Mars.
The unexpected occurrence and discovery of these molecules has made it easier for scientists to understand and gather information about the history of Mars. Moreover, besides being cold and barren in today’s time, scientists believe that Mars once had an ancient microbial life.