Mars Takes a Breath, with Jen Eigenbrode

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Published on 13 Nov 2020, 19:36
The Curiosity rover has been probing the secrets of Mars since its arrival in 2012. Its discoveries include chemical signatures that could be related to life – or, alternatively, to geological processes. The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument has found organic molecules, which are fundamental building blocks of life on Earth, but can also be produced in nonbiological ways. Scientists have also observed sudden rises and falls in methane, a gas also associated with life, but which can be geological in nature, too. But with such a thin atmosphere, cold temperatures and scathing radiation from the Sun, the surface of Mars would be hostile to life. Where could life be hiding, if it were on Mars? Jen Eigenbrode, astrobiologist at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, discusses.

Listen to the full episode and subscribe to this podcast at: nasa.gov/gravityassist

Producer Credit: Sonnet Apple & Elizabeth Landau
Music Credit: Universal Production Music
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