The National Aerospace and Space Administration (NASA) declared on Tuesday that Mars could support life. The basis of NASA was an analysis of rock samples that the Curiosity crew drilled from the red planet.
The analysis found evidence of water and basic elements that small organisms could thrive on.
"We have found a habitable environment that is so benign and supportive of life that probably if this water was around and you had been on the planet, you would have been able to drink it," AP quoted John Grotzinger, the chief scientist of the California Institute of Technology.
Curiosity used its robotic arms to drill into a fine-grained, veiny rock to get powder samples which were tested by the crew on its onboard laboratories.
While previous NASA missions discovered evidence that the red planet was more tropical billions of years ago, the belief is that Mars is now a frigid desert often hit by radiation.
The analysis specifically found sulfur, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, phosphorous and simple carbon which are essential chemical ingredients for life. It also found clay and sulfate minerals which are indicators that the rock was formed in a watery environment.
Curiosity landed near the Mars equator in August 2012 as part of its two-year mission.
Interest in Mars has spiked following the Curiosity landing that an American billionaire is organising a 501-day journey to Mars in 2018 using a space vehicle covered with hydrated human feces to serve as protection against radiation.