There is confusion about the potential for Mars to harbor life because it seems such a forbidding place for life as we know it; with a carbon dioxide atmosphere and little free oxygen. Yet there is evidence that Mars may have conditions remeniscent of Earth, with flowing water etc. Now a more detailed exploration of Mars, and the entire Mars environment is underway. Scientist want to understand more about the Martian climate and the potential for the climate of Mars to change over time and produce more oxygen in the atmosphere. Scientists also want to know exactly how much water is to be found on Mars, and in what form; ice or flowing water. Many scientists believe that if water can be found, even in reservoirs buried deep under the surface, then life may also be found there.
For a discussion of why other planets seem much less habitable than Mars for life as we know it, you may leave this tour and take the
Exploratour on Life in the Solar System.
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