Earlier this week, Perseverance Scientists announce discovery of organic molecules on Mars. Not life itself—hardly—but another acknowledgment that ancient Martian habitats are suitable for life.
Since landing on the red planet in February 2021, it has been persistently searching for biosignatures – signs of ancient life on Mars. But with the work of the Curiosity rover, the search for that life began years before stability left Earth.
Curiosity launched for Mars in 2011, a decade before the Perseverance rover flew by the red Martian terrain. Curiosity is within eight months of reaching Mars Its main objective has been achieved: Finding evidence of a past Martian environment that could have supported microbial life.
Now a decade later, Perseverance continues to search for evidence of microbial life itself. At the same time, Curiosity is continuing its investigation of ancient Martian environments. Although thousands of miles apart, the two rovers’ findings give scientists a new look at Mars billions of years ago.
Here’s a look back at the findings that led to this week’s discovery.