There’s liquid water on Mars! Probably. Or something that looks a whole lot like liquid water that could just be anything from a trick of lighting to ice particles.

Now even if this is what it looks like, ie droplets of salty Martian H2O collecting on the leg of NASA’s Phoenix Lander, that certainly doesn’t mean that there is or ever was life on the red planet, though it ups the odds significantly. But even if Mars has always been a desolate wasteland, we might just take care of that in short order.

As I type this, a Russian space mission is headed for Mars – but on it’s way, it’s ready to drop off a sample of soil from the Russian tundra on Mars moon Phobos in an effort to discover if microbial life could possibly survive in a Martian environment. While the titanium probe is unlikely to crack open on impact, contaminating the landscape with Russian microbes selected for their hardiness and durability, its not a possibility that can be written off. But hey, what’s the worst we could run into – some sort of Phobos Anomaly?