Distracted by local affairs — wars, presidential campaigns, economic crises — our media have largely ignored a universal story: NASA scientists are quietly transforming our understanding of Mars.
In recent months, the Phoenix Mars Lander has documented the following bombshells: It snows on Mars. Martian soil contains calcium carbonate — a mineral that’s typically formed in the presence of water. And a hard layer of ice, which may have been a liquid sea, lies just beneath the Red Planet’s surface. The discoveries all point to the possibility that several million years ago, Mars was an ideal habitat for developing life forms — and that our lovely little planet may not be as special as we’ve come to believe.
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