NASA InSight

A new research report presented at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) has suggested that the upcoming Mars missions should concentrate more on exploring the underground of the Red Planet to spot possible alien signs.

Until now, typical Mars missions used to concentrate on exploring life where there are signs of ancient water, a potential indicator of life. The research report also revealed that there could be an abundance of microbial life deep beneath the surface of the Mars, as no life has been spotted until now in the Martian surface.

Several recent studies have confirmed that there is a subsurface environment in earth named deep biosphere where microbial organisms are thriving. Scientists now believe that a similarly biologically rich environment could be there under the Martian surface too.

In a recent interaction with Live Science, Joseph Michalski, an associate professor with the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Hong Kong said that the surface of Mars was very similar to the earth during the ancient days when the planets around the solar system were very young. As Mars lost its magnetic field, it became exposed to extremely intense radiation, and thus, the surface of Mars became inhabitable.

Michalski also added that life on Mars could have started forming at almost the same time life started thriving on earth. However, life in Mars might have been formed exclusively in the underground region.

"We're at a point now where it's truly a frontier of understanding what 'deep biosphere' truly means on Earth, and how that relates to exoplanets and other planets in our solar system. It's a window into our own origins. We could have single-celled organisms that could be dormant for a long time, but could survive through metabolizing hydrogen, methane, potentially sulfur," said Michalski.