The analysis of minerals contained in a rock sample collected by Curiosity rover has just been made public by NASA and shows that ancient Mars could have supported primitive life.
NASA scientists identified sulfur, nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and carbon -- some of the key chemical ingredients for life -- in the powder Curiosity drilled out of a sedimentary rock near an ancient stream bed in Gale Crater.
Air Liquide Advanced Technologies contributed to the design of the laboratory analysis component known as SAM (Sample Analysis at Mars) by putting together the capillaries to collect particles from the Martian soil. Once vaporized, these particles are analyzed by SAM, which searches for fossil evidence of life on the Red Planet. Last November, SAM was ready to receive the first solid samples of Martian soil.