NASA rover, Curiosity, has been busily collecting new samples on Mars. The samples show nitrogen compounds that researchers say are just as important to life as carbon.
Though the red planet is now baren, at least as far as we can tell, the nitrates that are showing up in careful study, are similar to those found in extreme dry areas on Earth such as the Atacama Desert in South America.
Most nitrates here on Earth are created by living organisms, however it is possible that the nitrates found on Mars could have been from something along the lines of an asteroid strike or lightening. Business leaders say that these experiments also include making sure that none of these findings are coming from contamination caused by the rover itself, during collection.
The next step in the search for proof of life on Mars is to determine whether or not there are still nitrates being produced,or if this is all just remnants of something from long ago.