The PBS show Nature was on early this morning with an episode entitled "Life in Death Valley". It showcased different aspects of the extremely hot location, including the outrageously harsh Badwater section and the scientists who have permission from park officials to study the signature minerals microbes leave behind. This practice may help us notice whether we find similar materials on Mars with any lander or rover.
The Mars Science Laboratory (Curiosity) is supposed to have the largest scientific payload of anything we've sent to the surface of the Red Planet. One of its main goals is to discover if Mars at one point was suitable for microbial life.
http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/530955main_mslf ... 110324.pdf
Is anyone, or thing, out there?
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