Case Study on Life on Mars

Case Study on Life on Mars

  1. Background

One greatest mystery that has remained controversial for almost 100 years now is whether there is life on Mars. While many scientists and astronomist have come up with different tantalizing theories and analysis that hint at the possibility of life in the planet Mars, these theories, however, have remained to be incontrovertible pieces of evidence (Verseux et al. 65). The incontrovertibility of these pieces of evidence makes it hard for scientists to come up with one conclusion on whether the planet Mars supports microbial life or not. One vital aspect that is necessary for enabling scientists to answer the above profound question decisively is the presence of water on the planet. Scientists believe that for life to exist on a planet, there must be present of liquid, specifically water, to catalyze reactions (Cockell 316). From the frozen Martian water that exists on the Martian polar caps, there is a high possibility of the planet supporting life.

  1. Problem/challenge

The different schools of thought concerning the ability of planet Mars to support life have been a hindrance for scientists in coming up with a conclusion on the above topic. Their divergent ideas have made it extremely hard for astronomists who make useful analysis and come up with one final report on whether the planet can support life or not. Naturally, a modern scientific community expects adequate evidence to be tabled form them to be convinced into accepting scientific findingson a given topic or experiment. Most heavenly bodies such as the moon and other planets aredifficult to explore because they require not only the satellite analysis but also landing of scientists in these bodies and exploring their features by collecting a sample and analyzing them either in situ or bringing them back to Earth for further analysis. Hence, the existence of different schools of thought on the ability of Mars to support life has acted as a significant impediment to conducting a perfect analysis and making a conclusion on the above topic.

  1. Solution

To address the above confusion, it is of immense importance that scientists led by the NASA group, to make a trip to Mars and to confirm whether indeed the planet Mars can support life. In August 1996, the NASA scientists unveiled a rock which they believed was formed 4.5 billion years ago in Mars (Fairén et al. 964). These scientists went ahead and alleged that they had found signs of life inside the planet. While many people were nostalgic by these announcements, some were, however, skeptic and demanded that further analysis is conducted to prove beyond any doubt that Mars could support life. It is precisely two decades since the major announcement by NASA on the above issue and scientist are yet to make a trip to Mars to confirm or refute the claims that were made by the NASA group in 1996. Hence, the solution to this confusion is that scientists should make frequent trips to Mars, at least two trips made by scientists from different countries, and analyze the features of planet Mars and give a final conclusive report on whether or not the planet can support life.

  1. Impacts

The possibility of Mars supporting life had electrified scientists across the globe as individuals tried to imagine the kind of life that could exist beyond Earth. However, since extraordinary claims can only be proved by extraordinary evidence, scientists have to make adequate analysis and give a better report that either support or oppose the claims that were initially established by the NASA scientists. The impacts of these confusions and conflict of ideas on the issuehave seen billions of dollars been set aside by different governments, including the US, to enable their scientists to unravel the mystery behind the story of Mars supporting life. Also, various opinions have been provided with scientists trying to outdo each other by rejecting their colleagues’ analysesas all of them try to come up with the best report on this controversial topic.

  1. Evaluation

The announcement by the NASA scientists in 1996 marked a great achievement and remarkable step towards proving Mars as the second planet to support life after the planet Earth. The findings of chemical evidence by other NASA researchers, however, contradicted the initial information provided initially by the agency on the above issue. In their view, these researchers believed that microbial life might have existed on Mars but perhaps died out later or even persisted in primitive form (Westall et al. 999). These findings, therefore, indicate that even though the presence of the liquid may exist to support life on Mars, the planet may not be able to allow individuals to live due to the risk of extinction of persistent primitivity.


Works Cited

Cockell, Charles S. “Synthetic geomicrobiology: engineering microbe–mineral interactions for space exploration and settlement.” International Journal of Astrobiology 10.4 (2011): 315-324.

Fairén, Alberto G., et al. “Searching for life on Mars before it is too late.” Astrobiology 17.10 (2017): 962-970.

Verseux, Cyprien, et al. “Sustainable life support on Mars–the potential roles of cyanobacteria.” International Journal of Astrobiology 15.1 (2016): 65-92.

Westall, Frances, et al. “Biosignatures on Mars: what, where, and how? Implications for the search for martian life.” Astrobiology 15.11 (2015): 998-1029.


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