It has long been the preserve of science-fiction, but it seems that there really was life on Mars.
New research has found that the Red Planet was once rich in carbon dioxide, increasing the chances that Mars has harboured life.
Widespread deposits of carbonate rock are buried a few miles beneath the surface, according to scientists.
Small amounts of this mineral have been detected on Mars before.
But if they are abundant it means the greenhouse gas could have helped make it a much wetter and warmer place hundreds of millions of years ago.
If there was life on Mars in the distant past there is a strong likelihood that lifeforms still exist today. The planet may not have altered so rapidly that everything would have died before the organisms had a chance to evolve in the changing conditions. Furthermore, even if a rapid change did take place some lifeforms would probably survive anyway.
It is possible that some vegetation may remain in places and microbes probably inhabit the soil as we find on Earth. Larger worms and bugs may also remain.
One thing we do know is that NASA has been misrepresenting and hiding Mars data from the public. Today, for "unknown" reasons, image data from Mars is being continually edited and misrepresented in a likely attempt to hide evidence that Mars still supports life.
Information indicating the presence of liquid water also appears to have been either wrongly dismissed or deliberately suppressed.
[Posted at the SpookyWeather blog, October 15th, 2010.]