Life on early Mars inhospitable: Nasa

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New York, Feb 16 (UNI) The Red Planet Mars which holds the possibility of life, was too salty to sustain life in the past, according to the latest evidence.

''High concentration of minerals in water on early Mars would have made it inhospitable to even the toughest microbes,'' a leading Nasa expert said.

The evidences gathered from the rocks that were once awash with water indicated the environment was both acidic and briny.

Opportunity, the second of the two rovers of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Mission, has spent months examining rocks on an ancient Martian plain on Mars' surface.

Member of the rover science team Dr Andrew Knoll said the new findings have ''tightened the noose on the possibility of life'' on the planet.

Speaking at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Boston, the Harvard University biologist said conditions on Mars in the past four billion years would have been very challenging for life.

''It was really salty - in fact, it was salty enough that only a handful of known terrestrial organisms would have a ghost of a chance of surviving there when conditions were at their best,'' BBc quoted him.

Nasa has launched another spacecraft, Phoenix, on a nine-month journey to Mars, where it will dig below the surface for clues to the existence of past or present life.

The spacecraft is due to reach Mars on May 25, BBC reported.


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