MOSCOW, November 18. /TASS/. Pools of water containing primitive life forms may exist in Mars’s in near-polar areas, the chief of the space gamma spectrometry laboratory at the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Space Research Institute, Igor Mitrofanov, told TASS in an interview.
According to his estimates, frozen water is present on Mars in very large amounts. In the near-polar regions (above 60 degrees in the North and in the South) it is the main soil component.
"The presence of water ice on the Red Planet allows for speculating that under the surface there may exist liquid water pools containing primitive life forms," Mitrofanov believes.
It is such organic life forms, Mitrofanov said, that may be the source of methane gas emissions into the atmosphere that occur on Mars from time to time.
The solid ice masses in Martian soil may contain fragments of ancient microorganisms that may have existed in the primeval ocean in the planet’s early period (more than 3.5 billion years ago).
"In those days, according to our estimates, Mars looked more like the Earth today. Its atmosphere was far denser than it is now. And its magnetic field was very much like the Earth’s," Mitrofanov said.