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Passport to Knowledge: Looking for Life (2006)
February 3, 2012

Target: Grades 6-10

Length: 56 minutes 46 seconds

Internet: http://passporttoknowledge.com   →

Is life on Earth unique? Are humans the only intelligent beings in the universe? These are some of the deepest and most ancient of questions. Now, for the first time, we have the tools and technology to begin probing for the answers. Scientists believe these answers lie untouched in some of the most exotic and dramatic sites on our home planet. "Looking for Life" takes viewers to these distant locations for the most current reports on this exciting scientific frontier.

In the rust-red Pilbara desert of Western Australia, an international team of NASA and university researchers looks at ancient rocks to see if they offer unambiguous evidence of life on Earth as long as 3.5 billion years ago. At Shark Bay, a young graduate student dives in chilly waters to sample stromatolites, "living fossils" that may resemble early life-forms. In the startling red and yellow waters of Spain's Rio Tinto, an intrepid cameraman ventures underwater to photograph the rich organisms found in some of the most acidic streams on Earth. Nearby a NASA team tests a prototype drill that could be deployed to Mars or to Jupiter's mysterious moon, Europa. North of the Arctic Circle, researchers from Indiana University look for life deep underground in the Lupin Mine. South of the Equator, far up in the Bolivian Andes, NASA's Nathalie Cabrol dives in the highest waters on Earth, whose salty shores resemble the ancient lakes recently found on Mars by NASA's rovers, Spirit and Opportunity. She finds organisms thriving in an environment of extreme cold and dangerous levels of radiation.

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Page Last Updated: July 28th, 2013
Page Editor: NASA Administrator