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It is very difficult to conclude whether or not life does or even did exist on the surface or in the Martian atmosphere. Evidence from both sides of the theory are being analysed in extreme detail in order to come to a conclusion. The analyses and study of the Martian meteorite ALH84001, is considered the most studied and detailed analyses ever to be carried out on an igneous rock. Even with this extent of analyses being carried out on the meteorite, we still cannot come to a clear and concise conclusion to whether or not it contained traces of extra-terrestrial life. Although the detection of carbonate globules and bacterial shaped objects suggests that life theoretically could have existed on the planet of Mars, scientists who oppose the theory of extra-terrestrial life disagree that these discoveries indicate a life-form present in the meteorite. They suggest that because of the small size of these bacterial-shaped objects that they could represent artifacts in the meteorite.There was also some criticism about the Viking and MER missions. Although a small amount of atmospheric water vapour was observed, the lack of liquid water on the surface declares this evidence inconclusive. However there was some very interesting discoveries made by the Rover Opportunity, including the detection of hematite. This mineralised form of iron-oxide can be used for the preservation of aqueous processes. This discovery, along with the discovery of ripple-like curves in the Meridiani plain, could indicate a past life-form having existed on the surface of the planet many years ago.


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