An inventory of potentially habitable environments on Mars: Geological and biological perspectives
J.M. Dohm, H. Miyamoto, G.G. Ori, A.G. Fairén, A.F. Davila, G. Komatsu, W.C. Mahaney, J.-P. Williams, S.B. Joye, G. Di Achille, D.Z. Oehler, G.A. Marzo, D. Schulze-Makuch, V. Acocella, M. Glamoclija, M. Pondrelli, P. Boston, K.M. Hart, R.C. Anderson, V.R. Baker, W. Fink, B.P. Kelleher, R. Furfaro, C. Gross, T.M. Hare, A.R. Frazer, F. Ip, C.C.R. Allen, K.J. Kim, S. Maruyama, P.C. McGuire, D. Netoff, J. Parnell, L. Wendt, S.J. Wheelock, A. Steele, R.G.V. Hancock, R.A. Havics, P. Costa, D. Krinsley, 2011. "An inventory of potentially habitable environments on Mars: Geological and biological perspectives", Analogs for Planetary Exploration, W. Brent Garry, Jacob E. Bleacher
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On Earth, biology, hydrology, and geology are interlinked such that certain types of life are often associated with specific conditions, including rock type, pressure, temperature, and chemistry. Life on Earth has established itself in diverse and extreme niches, presenting the possibility that Mars, too, may hold records of fossilized and/or extant life in diverse environments. Geologic, paleohydrologic, and climatic conditions through the evolution of Mars are similar in many respects to conditions occurring during the evolution of Earth and, as such, may point to environments on Mars with potential to have supported living systems. Here, we discuss examples of those Martian settings. Such extraterrestrial environments should be targeted by international robotic and/or manned missions to explore potential fossilized or extant life on Mars.