Mars strategy shift eyed as methane boosts odds for life Spaceflight Now

The Mars Science Laboratory rover may be retargeted to land near a methane vent on Mars to specifically seek direct evidence of current Martian life.
This new consideration of MSL landing sites comes in the wake of compelling new data that large pockets of methane found in the Martian atmosphere could have been exhaled or vented from abundant microorganisms living underground on Mars. The MSL rover’s launch was recently delayed from 2009 to 2011 because of technical delays, but the slip could enable a new landing site selection related to the methane findings, says Michael Meyer, the lead Mars program scientist at NASA headquarters in Washington.