Watch This Space

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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