Antarctic Dry Valley (NASA Ames participation)
Scientists believe that Mars during its earliest phase was quite cold, even when it was wet. To help understand how liquid water persisted in freezing conditions, scientists decided to study water cycles of the polar regions and to compare physical and geological findings to possible martian counterparts. Areas included the Axel Heiberg Island in the Canadian High Arctic and the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica. Both sites are extremely cold and have very little rainfall, which results in desert-like conditions.
NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.
April 6, 2007
Earth’s Polar Regions Provide Clues to Past Life on Mars –
In 2000, the Mars science community received its first images from the Mars Orbiter Camera, as part of the Mars Global Surveyor mission. These scientists were impressed by the deep V-shaped gullies on Mars' surface, and soon started imagining how they could have formed.
Dec. 9, 1999
ANTARCTICA'S FROZEN SLICE OF LIFE OFFERS CLUES TO LIFE ELSEWHERE
Scientists have discovered a microbial world hidden deep beneath the frozen Antarctic ice that could help them learn more about how life can survive under extreme conditions on other planets or moons.