Watch This Space

| May 2, 2003

Despite talk of NASA curtailing further space exploration until they can figure out what went wrong with the Challenger Columbia, both NASA and Europe are slated to launch Mars exploration missions this summer. The European launch of Mars Express is slated for June and the NASA mission will launch shortly thereafter. All scientists involved hope to discover some sign of life on the frozen planet, but nothing as complicated as creatures depicted in Hollywood sci-fi. ?Nobody expects Little Green Men, Daleks or Mekons any more. But they do hope for evidence of microbes,? reports Tim Radford for the British newspaper The Guardian. ?These single-celled animals dominated Earth for the first two billion years of life.? The Quest to find life on other planets is not limited to Mars, however. Both the Europeans and NASA are searching into the far reaches of space to find planets with water, oxygen, and methane?three components that are essential to create a hospitable environment for life as we know it.
?Nick Garafola

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