For decades now scientists and astronauts have sought signs of life beyond the earth. And while some insist that aliens do walk among us, nobody has managed to find their home planet (or any other celestial body). But as the hunt for ET continues, Mars offers a glimmer of hope. Keep in mind that the Perseverance rover and the Ingenuity helicopter are currently wandering through the red planet.
As per a study published recently in the journal Astrobiology, the subsurface of Mars might be host to earth-like microbial communities, suggesting that the planet is habitable. Sulfate-reducing microorganisms are common in Earth's deep subsurface, often using "hydrogen derived directly from radiolysis of pore water and sulfate derived from oxidation of rock-matrix-hosted sulfides by radiolytically derived oxidants". Researchers say that radiolysis by itself could produce sufficient redox energy to sustain a habitable environment in the subsurface of present-day Mars, one in which Earth-like microorganisms could survive wherever groundwater exists.
While many including Elon Musk want to live on Mars, there is a long way to go before millions of people can descend on the neighbouring planet. This however is not the first time that scientists have sparked hope of life on Mars. Earlier this year, a study published in the journal Frontiers in Microbiology had said that some microbes found on Earth may temporarily survive on the surface of Mars. Having exposed bacteria and fungi to Mars-like conditions, they found that some microbes were able to survive the trip.