Analysis of rock samples on Mars have led NASA officials to conclude that the red planet was capable of sustaining primitive life, a discovery that they say warrants future missions to further study the planet's environment. One crucial focus of a future mission should be bringing Mars rock samples back to Earth, where they can be more deeply analyzed, scientists say. "On the one hand, it shows what we can do with instruments on the surface of Mars," said Bruce Betts, the Planetary Society's projects director. "We'll always be able to do more with our labs on Earth than what we can do on Mars."

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