An analysis of a rock sample collected by NASA’s Curiosity rover shows ancient Mars could have supported living microbes.

Scientists identified sulfur, nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and carbon–some of the key chemical ingredients for life–in the powder Curiosity drilled out of a rock near an ancient stream bed there.

Mars researcher John Grotzinger says, "We have characterized a very ancient, but strangely new ‘gray Mars,’ where conditions once were favorable for life. Curiosity is on a mission of discovery and exploration, and as a team we feel there are many more exciting discoveries ahead of us in the months and years to come."

NASA’s Michael Meyer says, "A fundamental question for this mission is whether Mars could have supported a habitable environment. From what we know now, the answer is yes."

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