NASA Finds No Sign of Life on Mars

Created: 2012-12-05 00:35 EST


The National Aeronautics and Space Administration says no definitive signs of life have been found on Mars so far.

The announcement made in San Francisco on Monday came after the Curiosity rover completed its first chemical test of Martian soil.

Curiosity, which touched down on Mars August 6th, is the first Mars rover to be able to analyze soil.

During a Monday press conference, people's attention was focused on SAM -- Sample Analysis at Mars -- an instrument that takes up half of Curiosity's weight.

But the opening remarks from the principal investigator for Curiosity's SAM seemed to disappoint many.

[Paul Mahaffy, Principal Investigator, Curiosity's SAM]:
"Let me start off by saying that SAM has no definitive detection to report of organic compounds."

Scientists reported a test of sandy dirt analyzed by the rover's lab contained water and a mix of chemicals. However, it did not contain the complex carbon-based compounds thought necessary for life.