Water and the Search for Life on Mars

  • David M. Harland

Part of the Springer Praxis Books book series (PRAXIS)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xix
  2. Pages 1-30
  3. Pages 31-52
  4. Pages 53-74
  5. Pages 75-94
  6. Pages 113-137
  7. Pages 139-182
  8. Pages 183-222
  9. Pages 223-229
  10. Back Matter
    Pages 231-239

About this book

Introduction

"Why explore Mars? The simple answer is, we’re going to Mars to search for life. We’re following the water because on Earth where you find liquid water, organic material, and energy, you find life." u find life"

Ed Weiler, NASA's Associate Administrator for Space Science

Ear where you find liquid water,

A century ago, the world was enthralled by Percival Lowell’s vision of a Mars criss-crossed with the canals of a dying civilization distributing water from the polar caps. Later, Mars was thought to have been cold, dead and dry for eons, but striking new evidence suggests the planet was relatively warm and wet in geologically recent times, and that even now there are reserves of water frozen beneath the planet’s surface.

Today, robot spacecraft maneuver across the Martian surface while others orbit overhead seeking evidence of water, ice, and landing sites for further exploration. In recent years, the very possibilities for life have dramatically expanded as discoveries by biologists and oceanographers have revealed bizarre life forms where none would have been expected. And as the growing evidence that water flowed on Mars becomes indisputable, more spacecraft are soon to follow.

This highly absorbing book relates how NASA and ESA have sought evidence of life on Mars. ‘Follow the water’ with noted science writer David Harland as he assembles and weighs the evidence in this timely and compelling book. It contains what you need to know behind today’s, and possibly tomorrow’s, headlines, including details of the Mariner, Viking, and Pathfinder missions and evolving theories of Martian geology and climate. It explains how the search accelerates with the Mars Orbiter and Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity. Harland sets this within the broader perspective of the likely nature of life on Mars as compared to primitive life on Earth. Finally, he analyzes the implications of there being life on both planets. Join the scientific adventure of a lifetime in this well-researched and thoroughly engrossing true account.

Keywords

Design Planet Planetary system environment extremophile instruments nature stars

Authors and affiliations

  • David M. Harland
    • 1
  1. 1.KelvinbridgeUK

Bibliographic information