Washington - The possibility that Mars once sustained life has been supported by an analysis of two meteorites that show the Martian water supply was far larger than previously thought, the Carnegie Instution of Science announced on Thursday.

The two meteorites were ejected from Mars 2.5 million years ago, still young by meteorite standards, and the minerals within them contain water levels similar to that of the Earth's mantle.

Analysis of the meteorites suggest that water was incorporated into the surface of Mars when it was created, scientists said, and stored underground when the different elements and minerals within the mantle separated.

“There has been substantial evidence for the presence of liquid water at the Martian surface for some time,” said Erik Hauri of the Carnegie Institution. “So it's been puzzling why previous estimates for the planet's interior have been so dry. This new research makes sense and suggests that volcanoes may have been the primary vehicle for getting water to the surface.” - Sapa-dpa