"From illusory "canals" spied through blurry 19th century telescopes, to today's high-endurance robotic rovers, in the search for life beyond Earth, Mars is the perennial favorite target. It is, after all, the most hospitable planet we know other than our own.
But despite the Red Planet's watery, warm ancient past and more than a century of Earthlings' increasingly sophisticated scrutiny, no clear evidence of Martian life has ever been found. At least, that's the mainstream scientific consensus. But according to a new book by astrobiologist Dirk Schulze-Makuch and science writer David Darling, we've had good evidence of microbial life on Mars since NASA's Viking missions in the late 1970s. Now, they argue, all that's needed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that we are not alone is another ambitious mission to Mars--one that, like Viking, carries a life-detection experiment."
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