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NASA's Curiosity rover has discovered previously unknown organic molecules, ammonia and benzoic acid, on Mars that could be possible indicators of ancient life.

The findings stem from a new technique used by the American space agency in 2017 when the rover's drill stopped working, but the team re-routed Curiosity to place dirt samples into cups pre-filled with a chemical mixture instead of the typical empty containers.

The dirt showed traces of benzoic acid and ammonia, both of which occur naturally in plants and animals, including humans.

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