Mars 'was habitable' – NASA data sparks hope of finding alien life on Red Planet

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Mars 'was habitable' – NASA data sparks hope of finding alien life on Red Planet

The landmark new study was derived from the latest data collected by NASA’s Curiosity rover.

Researchers now believe the rampaging megaflood was probably triggered by the heat from an apocalyptic asteroid impact, which unleashed vast quantities of ice stored on the Martian surface.

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Dr Alberto Fairén, a College of Arts and Sciences astrobiologist, thinks evidence for this occurrence is found in gigantic ripples that are tell-tale evidence of similar geologic structures here on Earth.

He said: “We identified megafloods for the first time using detailed sedimentological data observed by the rover Curiosity.

READ MORE: Asteroid Apophis: Scientists meet to discuss potential 2068 collision

The NASA team in charge of Curiosity rover has previously established Gale Crater was once home to persistent lakes and streams in its ancient past.

These long-lived bodies of water are good indicators that the crater, as well as Mount Sharp within it, were capable of supporting microbial alien life.

Dr Fairén said: “Early Mars was an extremely active planet from a geological point of view.

“The planet had the conditions needed to support the presence of liquid water on the surface – and on Earth, where there’s water, there’s life.

“So early Mars was a habitable planet,” he said. “Was it inhabited? That’s a question that the next rover Perseverance … will help to answer.”

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