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"I have no doubt that we can get plants to survive on Mars," Ferl said. "When we do, we will have shown that Earth-evolved life is capable of thriving in distant worlds, and we will have set the stage for human colonization."
There can be no doubting that plants turned this planet from an inhospitable hell hole into what we have today. Animals, by contrast, have played a very minor role.
Do you believe that it will be possible to create organisms capable of surviving on the present day Mars?
Perhaps theoretically, extremophiles could survive in underground deposits of liquid water on Mars, but I don't know if there is consensus among scientists that such locations exist for certain.
I hope you're right, Ophiolite, because I certainly want to look at Google News some day and see the headline "NASA confirms Martian Microbes".