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Alien Life Hunt Looks to Earth's Underground Microbes

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Hundreds of millions of miles away on Mars, NASA's Curiosity rover is looking for clues that a suitable environment for life might once have existed on our desolate neighboring planet.

Curiosity can only scratch the surface, since its drill penetrates mere centimeters below the ground. Even if the rover's scientific instruments were capable of directly detecting microbial life, any evidence of past or present life is likely hidden deep within the subsurface, many scientists say. Future missions to Mars will need the right equipment to detect and study any subsurface microbial life, but such equipment will need to be perfected on our own planet first.
 
 

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