Water, water everywhere?

Once again, NASA has got scientists parched for signs of life on other worlds ready to launch into a new debate with images that would suggest that water still flows on the Red Planet. In the same week that plans for a Moon base are announced, photographic revelations from the Mars Global Surveyor hint at the existence not only of water in whatever form but of running water. Building a base on Mars will be so much simpler if the pioneering astronauts have access to running water rather than having to use chemical means to produce the vital solvent. Skeptics are already claiming that the NASA images, which apparently show changing surface features that can only be explained by flowing water, are nothing more than wishful thinking. Others are enthusiastic that evidence of flowing water suggests an underground thermal source keeping the water liquid. The existence of liquid water and heat energy together might even hint at life on Mars.