Various space agencies across the globe have launched or planned missions to explore the surface and atmosphere of Mars. Basically, they have tried to find out if life can exist on the red planet. However, no traces of life have been found on the Martian surface.
Now, a study has suggested that life could exist below the surface of Mars. It revealed that conditions beneath the surface of the planet are less harsh. The research also proposed that the subsurface has traces of water.
The study, carried out by astrophysicist and scientist Dimitra Atri, was published in the journal Scientific Reports. He conducted the research by integrating existing data from space missions, numerical models and studies of deep-cave ecosystems found on Earth.
Atri asserted that repeated bombardment of penetrating Galactic Cosmic Rays (GCRs) may offer the energy to catalyse organic activity below the surface.
He said that it is exciting to think that life could survive on Mars in such harsh conditions.
"When the Rosalind Franklin rover on board the ExoMars mission (ESA and Roscosmos), equipped with a subsurface drill, is launched in 2022, it will be well-suited to detect extant microbial life and hopefully provide some important insights," Atri added.
Apart from ExoMars mission, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) will be blasting off Perseverance Mars rover on Thursday morning. The nuclear-powered rover will look for signs of past microbial life on the red planet. It will also gather rock and soil samples that will be sent to Earth for research.