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Published on Aug 4, 2012
"Within our solar system there are two worlds where rock and ice and chilling winds rule bleak landscapes. Once both were warmer, and rivers wandered through valleys where today the highest temperatures just barely pass the melting point of liquid water. In one of them, winter lasts four months of freezing darkness. Upon the other, winter has lasted 3 billion years or more. Two lands where life once had a chance to flourish. Two lands where, at first, it seems no trace of life remains. But one of them is rich in hidden life, though alien and strange. And the other is a planet we yearn to explore with the wisdom gained from discoveries about how life can endure amidst adversity.
This is the story of Antarctica and Mars and a courageous and astonishing search for life that has taken humans deep below the icy crusts of lakes near the earths south pole. And given us tools to search for ancient life on the planet Mars."
Major support for this program and the research was provided by the National Science Foundation, Office of Polar Programs and NASA's Exobiology Program.