NASA has made a startling discovery that points to the
possibility that a primitive form of microscopic life may
have existed on Mars more than three billion years ago. The
research is based on a sophisticated examination of an ancient
Martian meteorite that landed on Earth some 13,000 years ago.
The evidence is exciting, even compelling, but not
conclusive. It is a discovery that demands further
scientific investigation. NASA is ready to assist the
process of rigorous scientific investigation and lively
scientific debate that will follow this discovery.
Everyone should understand that we are not talking about 'little green men.' These are extremely small, single- cell structures that somewhat resemble bacteria on Earth. There is no evidence or suggestion that any higher life form ever existed on Mars.
Press Release 96-160 -
Meteorite Yields Evidence of Primitive Life on Early Mars.
Scientists' Biographies - Biographies of some of the scientists who made the discovery.
ALH84001 Fact Sheet - Information about the meteorite itself.
Meteorite Fact Sheet - Information on the Antarctic Meteorite Program and the Mars meteorites.
Mars Meteorite Fact Sheet - Information on the Mars meteorites.
Photographic Evidence - Photographic evidence supporting the Discovery.
Press Release 96-159 - Statement from Daniel S. Goldin, NASA Administrator.
Audio - Audio coverage of the press conference.
Video - Video animation related to the discovery.
Article from Science - Search for Past Life on Mars: Possible Relic Biogenic Activity in Martian Meteorite ALH84001.
|Curator: Annie Platoff
Responsible NASA Official: Kelly Humphries
Last Updated: 15 August 1996