Life on Mars (LoMars): History, advances, current research, and perspectives: History, advances, current research, and perspectives

Arshad Ali*, Muhammad S. Shahid, Iffat Jabeen, Mohamed A.K. El-Ghali

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A quest for life on Mars (LoMars) started in the early 1960s when the most prestigious scientific journals published several research articles. According to Elsevier’s Scopus database, the rise in annual literature production started in the late 1990s, most likely associated with the launch of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) first rover, Sojourner, in 1996. The number of articles on Mars will likely continue to rise sharply, given that the launch and landing of the Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover are critical to discovering and understanding the present or past life on the planet. Thus far, the USA has dominated in the number of citations and collaborations related to Mars research, given its facilities equipped with relevant infrastructure and researchers’ capacity to explore the Solar System beyond Earth. Most of these frequently cited papers report observational and theoretical research results. However, a highly cited article is based on analytical studies of a unique Martian meteorite (i.e., Allan Hills 84001) found in Antarctica. It is expected that the future sample return mission associated with the Perseverance Rover caching system could increase the LoMars research exponentially in the coming decades if Martian samples are successfully brought to Earth. Based on the total number of publications on LoMars, the most influential institute, the author, and the journal are Caltech, C.P. McKay, and Icarus, respectively. Both the institute and the author are directly affiliated with NASA, indicating the leadership offered by the organization in LoMars research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-230
Number of pages10
JournalEarth Sciences Research Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Nov 29 2022


  • ALH84001 meteorite
  • Life on Mars
  • Mars 2020
  • Perseverance Rover
  • Water on Mars
  • Zhurong Rover

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences

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