Top scientists discuss the habitability of Mars, as reported in UCLA Today

Posted on Feb. 14, 2013

More than 50 of the world’s top Mars scientists gathered in Royce Hall last week to discuss whether life could survive on the red planet. Three dozen talks over two days covered topics ranging widely from the current liquid water activity on Mars to NASA’s planetary protection policies.

"The habitability of Mars is a pressing issue because we plan to send humans there in the next century," said David Paige, a UCLA professor of Earth and space sciences and a co-organizer of the conference, held Feb. 4-5. "To do that in a responsible way, we should take into account that there could be an indigenous biosphere on Mars, and do our best to predict what would happen to any terrestrial organisms we might bring with us."