Press Release

Live Interview Opportunity with NASA Mars Expert Chris McKay

By SpaceRef Editor
February 28, 2001
Filed under ,

The new evidence that magnetite crystals in the martian meteorite ALH84001 are of biological origin raises the possibility that life may have once existed on Mars. Papers presenting these results were published Feb. 27 in a special Astrobiology issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Finding evidence of life on Mars is one of the central focuses of NASA’s astrobiology research. But what does it mean?

Ask a Mars Expert


Book a window with Dr. Chris McKay, an Astrobiology researcher at NASA Ames Research Center, on Thursday, March 1, between 5:00 – 9:00 p.m. EST (2:00 – 6:00 p.m. PST)

Ask Dr. McKay:

  • Why do scientists think the findings indicate past life on Mars?
  • Is this data conclusive?
  • Why should we care if life existed on Mars?

To book an interview call Laura Lewis at  650-604-2162, pager 650-317-0551, or Victoria Kushnir at 650-604-0176.

Full NASA press releases announcing the recent findings can be found at:          or

Live interviews will originate from Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA on NASA TV.  NASA TV is broadcast on GE-2 (C-Band satellite), transponder 9C at 85 degrees west longitude, vertical polarization with a downlink frequency of 3880 Mhz and audio of 6.8 Mhz.  In case of trouble during the interview, call Ames master control at 650-604-1296.

Related Links

° 27 February 2001: Truncated Hexaoctahedral Magnetite Crystals in ALH84001: Presumptive Biosignatures, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences [abstract – subscription required for access to full article]

° 27 February 2001: Chains of magnetite crystals in the meteorite ALH84001: Evidence of biological origin, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences [abstract – subscription required for access to full article]

° 26 February 2001: Photographic Comparison of Terrestrial and Martian Magnetite Crystal Chains, NASA ARC

° 26 February 2001: New Evidence Strengthens Claims of Ancient Life on Mars – Study of Martian Meteorite Reveals Magentic Fossils, NASA JSC

° 26 February 2001: NASA JSC Background Information on PNAS ALH84001 Magenetite Paper, NASA JSC

° 26 February 2001: Case For Life on Mars Withstands Criticism, Gains Scientific Support, NASA JSC

° 26 February 2001: Scientists Finds Evidence of Ancient Microbial Life on Mars, NASA ARC

° 26 February 2001: NSF official describes hunt for antarctic meteorites related to new meteorite evidence of primitive life on Mars, NSF

SpaceRef staff editor.