NASA's press conference at 2 pm EST today announcedthat liquid water had existed for an "appreciable time" on Mars, and that the planetary environment had once been capable of supporting life. So far, NASA has not found any fossils, but the presence of the Opportunity rover in what is now known to have been a lake or sea bed means that, if such fossils were ever formed, there is a reasonable chance of finding them.
Robert Roy Britt and Leonard David write in space.com that a strange twisted object dug up by the rover could be the sign of life scientists have been searching for. NASA's Ray Arvidson says their scientists there have been debating about whether the rovers have found signs of life, "from the ultra-conservative to ultra-liberal in terms of what's been happening, particularly at the Opportunity site."
NASA's Jim Garvin says they've tried to avoid "rushing to release every bit of data to the world, while moving on another world and making science-guided decisions about how to figure it all out in context." But they're holding a press conference today because, according to Savage, "We didn't want to sit on this information for a long time," since they "had gotten the information they needed."
There's so much going on when it comes to space, and so much of it is kept under wraps, sight unseen.
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