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The possibility of the existence of life elsewhere than on Earth has always fascinated. Inhabitants of Mars, Martians, in particular, have been the subject of many stories.

Can planet Mars sustain life?

A warmer and wetter planet Mars could harbor conditions for the emergence of life. On Mars, the absence of plate tectonics or metamorphic processes has protected the ancient rocks. We could therefore find today traces of past life.

Methane on planet Mars

Recently, methane has been detected on Mars using instruments on Earth and on board Mars satellites and Mars rovers that landed on the planet. All these measurements show strong fluctuations of methane over time. However, it is unclear whether the methane is the result of life, past or present. On Earth this gas comes to 95% of microorganisms.

The question remains open.

ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter enters orbit. (Credits ESA)