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NPR: The Search for Life on Mars
A Mars Exploration Rover [Image courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech]
With amazing new satellite photos reinforcing the idea that water once flowed freely on Mars, planetary scientists are now turning their attention to a search for past life--or perhaps current life--there. The question was one focus of a Thursday briefing for reporters in San Francisco, and National Public Radio explored it in a hour-long segment of its "Talk of the Nation" show.
Broadcast from the Annual Meeting, the program featured three researchers fielding questions from a live studio audience and from callers. The audience included 11th and 12th graders from Lowell High School in San Francisco.
"Tough life" species can live in the most inhospitable conditions, beyond the reach of light, deep in oceans or in the Earth's crust. In studying photos and other evidence gathered by Mars orbiters and the two rover vehicles now at work on the Martian surface, the researchers said they're trying to follow apparent water-flow patterns there to discover signs of extraterrestrial life.
Listen to the NPR broadcast here.
See a AAAS report on the briefing, with some stunning new photos, here.
16 February 2007