Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Martian soil may contain toxic compounds harmful to life: NASA

Martian soil could contain a toxic substance that would make it less likely that life formed there, data gathered by NASA's Phoenix lander on the red planet has revealed.

Earlier NASA said Phoenix analysers detected water in the soil, which suggested that Mars could have the conditions for life. However, if the presence of perchlorate were confirmed, the probability of detecting living organisms there would be reduced.

'The Phoenix team has been waiting for complementary results from the Thermal and Evolved-Gas Analyser, or TEGA, which also is capable of detecting perchlorate. TEGA is a series of ovens and analyses that 'sniff' vapours released from substances in a sample,' NASA said on its website.

Whatever it be there is still a slight chance of finding life on Mars since water has already been found there . And what may be poisonous for us may not be poisonous for them.

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