Mars May Have Been Habitable 3.5 Billion Years Ago

New data from the Curiosity rover suggests Mars could have been habitable in the distant past.

The NASA study, published Monday, analyzed several mineral samples and found they likely formed in a fully liquid water environments in the distant past. This strongly suggests water covered much of Mars while when life was just beginning on Earth.

“These layers were deposited about 3.5 billion years ago, coinciding with a time on Earth when life was beginning to take hold,” Dr. Elizabeth Rampe, a scientist at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, said in a press statement. “We think early Mars may have been similar to early Earth, and so these environments might have been habitable.”

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