Scientist Sir Charles Shults shared his findings on Martian fossils, space travel, and orbital solar power. The moon, he suggested, would be an ideal base to launch space vehicles. Lunar materials could be harnessed for these craft, which would be a much cheaper method than launching them from Earth. The search for a new form of energy could serve as a motivator for the US to embark on such a program Shults said, estimating the cost to be around $3 billion in the initial stages. However, the new products and discoveries that stem from increased space research would offer an economic payback, he added.
Shults discussed some of the latest imagery that he has concluded is evidence of ancient marine life on Mars, similar to Earth's trilobites and stromatolites. Interestingly, he speculated that these carbon-based creatures may have ultimately doomed life on Mars by consuming the planet's atmosphere.
He also warned that if life is currently on Mars, such as fungi or slime mold, we should be very concerned over the possible contaminating of Earth (from returning missions) as such species could be extremely hardy and prove dangerous to our ecosystem.