[On the web] Is Mars’ Soil Too Dry to Sustain Life?


Life as we know it needs water to thrive. Even so, we see life persist in the driest environments on Earth. But how dry is too dry? At what point is an environment too extreme for even microorganisms, the smallest and often most resilient of lifeforms, to survive? These questions are important to scientists searching for life beyond Earth, including on the planet Mars. To help answer this question, a research team from NASA’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley traveled to the driest place on Earth: the Atacama Desert in Chile, a 1000 kilometer strip of land on South America’s west coast.

Read more: Is Mars' Soil Too Dry to Sustain Life | NASA Ames Feature