After a succesfull drilling attempt on Mars, the Curiosity rover team has confirmed that a very long time ago, it was possible for Mars to have supported life.
Acccording to National Geographic, Curiosity mission scientist John Grotzinger stated: “We have found a habitable environment”. The team thinks the drilling sample was probably taken from the site of a former Martian Lake (Yellowknife Bay), which the scientists base on clays and sulfate minerals they found. Both these materials can only form in the presence of water that is low in acids, which would make it safe for life forms to consume. Grotzinger explained that if humans were to have lived on Mars during that time, we would have easily been able to drink the water.
Further evidence supports the theory that Mars used to have a much wetter and warmer climate, which would have certainly been favourable for life. Now that we know that there were also minerals that could have only formed in drinkable water, the possibility of life on ancient Mars has become a lot more credible. Additionally, the team announced that they had found simple organics in a sample from Mars, but the sample may have accidentilly been contaminated by life from Earth.
Despite all these clues, it does not necessarily mean that life, even microbes, did indeed exist on Mars, but we are now one step closer to uncovering the truth.