NASA believes that the organic salts could be on Mars as evidence of microbial life


NASA’s Curiosity probe has detected potential organic salts on Mars, a discovery that should support the theory that microbial life may exist.

On Mars It might be him Organic salts Or containing carbonAccording to scholars from NASA, Which, if confirmed, would have implications for the planet’s habitability in the past, as it could have formed through geological processes or be from ancient remains. Microbial life.

Experiments conducted by a team of scientists with the analysis of data from one of the tools they implemented Rover curiosity “Indirectly to the presence of organic salts,” he points out Release From NASA’s Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

Selfie on the Martian surface from the Curiosity rover. Image from NASA

In addition to adding more evidence of the idea of ​​a one time existence Organic materials On Mars, Direct detection Organic salts It will support Mars’ current habitability, look at that in EarthSome organisms can use organic salts, such as oxalate and acetate, for energy.

Organic chemist James Lewis said: “If we determine that there are concentrated organic salts anywhere on Mars, we will want to investigate further in those regions, ideally deeper digging beneath the surface where the organic matter can be better preserved.”

Directly fix in Mars The presence of organic salts is difficult, since SAM instrument Curiosity of It heats Mars soil and rocks to release gases that reveal the composition of these samples.

The problem is that overheating Organic salts It produces only minor gases that other components can release into the Martian soil.

Curiosity Mars Rover vehicle photos

Lewis and his team suggest you use another Curiosity tool, namely Way, Which uses a different technology to monitor Mars soil, can detect certain organic salts if they are present in sufficient quantities, although they do not yet exist.

Finding organic molecules or their organic salt residues is essential in NASA’s search for Life on other planetsBut it’s a tough job on a roof MarsWhere billions of years of radiation wiped out or melted away Thing organic.

Curiosity of It collects Mars soil and rocks, which may contain small parts of organic compounds, so SAM and other tools determine its chemical composition.

From the data you transfer to EarthScientists are trying to put these organic bits back together to try to deduce the types of larger molecules they might once belong to.

The SAM and CheMin teams at Curiosity will continue to search for organic salts markers such as Rover He ventures into a new area of ​​Mount Sharp, in Gale Crater.

The Rover DeterminationWhich arrived at Mars last February, does not have a tool capable of detecting organic salts, although its mission includes collecting samples to return to Earth in the future, as scientists will be able to use sophisticated laboratory machines to search for organic compounds.

In addition, next year the mission is scheduled to reach Mars ExoMars European Space Agency (ESA) with Rover Rosalind FranklinIt is equipped with drilling up to two meters and will carry a chemistry analyzer in those deep layers.

With information from EFE

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