Date: 1 Jan 1975
This is a composite of three JPL artist's renderings, drawn in January 1975, of "life on Mars." It was only wish fulfillment for an unnamed JPL artist to draw such things; however, the landscape and the rendered shapes took into account what was known about Mars that year.
"Life on Mars" was envisioned as low to the ground, symmetrical, and simple. The artist drew silicon-based life forms, probably coached by others, perhaps scientists, who had thought about such possibilities. Peculiar saucer-like shapes stood only slightly above ground level, root-like structures reached outward for growth resources; a bundle of cones faced many directions for heat, light or food. Instead of reality, the images embodied the artist's hope and anticipation of what future Martian exploration would find on the surface.
Credit: Jet Propulsion Laboratory