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If Spirit and Opportunity did find extraterrestrial life on Mars what would be the next step?
Thurgood Marshall Academy

That would be an extraordinary discovery. I don't know how we would actually even discover life. We have no life detection experiments on board these rovers outside of some camel walking across which you all know is not going to happen. I mean Mars' surface is an incredibly hostile place. Now, below the trickle point of water it's dry and desiccating and it's not a place in which life could live.

You want to go and look at the rocks to identify what the environment was and a long time ago. If life didn't start billions of years ago on Mars, maybe we don't need to be looking for it now.
Matt Golombek
Rover Science Team
Jet Propulsion Laboratory