Researchers spoke in response to news reports claiming the discovery had damaged the prospects for life on Mars. The mission team had wanted to perform further checks on the finding before reporting it, but said the news reports prompted them to speak out now.I bet Hecht wishes it had been a fossil bacterium. So do we all.
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If confirmed, the result is exciting, Hecht said, “because different types of perchlorate salts have interesting properties that may bear on the way things work on Mars if—and that’s a big ‘if ’—the results from our two teaspoons of soil are representative of all of Mars,” or at least much of it.
See also: Big Mars announcement in the works, and still bigger rumours