Mars was habitable longer, more recently than thought

Warmer, wetter conditions lasted until 3.5 billion years ago

By Andrew Grant, 11:33 AM December 9, 2013

The dried-up Martian lakebed where NASA’s Curiosity rover landed last year could have supported microbial life for millions of years, ending as recently as about 3.5 billion years ago. The findings, described in six studies published December 9 in Science, expand what scientists thought was a very brief window of time during which life could have thrived on the Red Planet.

Curiosity, an SUV-sized rover, landed on Mars in August 2012 in a region full of rocks that resemble weathered clays on Ea...

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