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You are here News Science Did life ever exist on Mars? NASA's Perseverance rover finds organic matter in rock samples

Did life ever exist on Mars? NASA's Perseverance rover finds organic matter in rock samples

NASA rover finds organic matter on Mars

NASA's Perseverance rover is investigating signs of ancient life on Mars, and has now collected some of the most promising samples from the Red Planet yet.

According to NASA, several rock samples containing organic matter were found in Jezero Crater, a 28-mile wide crater home to what scientists believe was once a river delta that formed about 3.5 billion years ago.

"Jezero was selected for this mission because... it allows us to explore an ancient habitable environment (and) it allows us to seek evidence of possible, Martin life in rocks deposited at that time, about 3 and-a-half billion years ago," Perseverance project scientist Ken Farley said in a recorded panel about the rover's findings.

"I want to emphasize, this mission is not looking for extant life, things that are alive today. Instead, we are looking into the very distant past, when Mars' climate was very different than it is today," Farley added.

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