The space agency is hosting a live discussion on new data collected by its Mars Curiosity rover.
An expert panel is outlining the latest findings uncovered by the rover, which has been roaming the Red Planet since August 2012.
The NASA rover has detected a bonanza of organic compounds on the surface of Mars in findings that mark some of the strongest evidence ever that Earth’s neighbour may have once harbored life.
Dr Michelle Thaller, assistant director for Science Communication at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, was quick to pour cold water on claims the agency was preparing to announce the detection of life.
NASA Mars 2018: Mars rover discovery
But she said NASA had discovered organic molecules on the barren planet, which are the building blocks of life.
Dr Jennifer Eigenbrode, whose main area of expertise is astrobiology, said methane molecules found on Mars may have come from life.
But she said the information on hand did not tell NASA exactly where the molecules came from.
NASA experts are revealing their latest Mars findings
She explained the Mars Curiosity rover is able to drill just 5cm into the surface of the planet to search for signs of life.
Dr Eigenbrode said the methane molecules found in this latest discovery were trapped in rocks which were once underwater in an ancient lake on the Red Planet.
She said because the rover was limited to exploring just the top 5cm of Mars, there had been speculation no organics would ever be found.
Dr Eigenbrode explained because rocks on the surface had been sat on the surface and exposed to solar radiation for potentially hundreds of thousands of years, molecules such as methane may have been completely degraded.
A NASA image of the Gale crater, where the Mars Curiosity rover discovered methane molecules
Speaking before the announcement, Nick Pope, a former British Ministry of Defence employee, said he believes NASA is about to unveil evidence of organic material found on the surface of Mars.
He tweeted: “I predict the NASA press conference today will cover whether organic molecules on Mars come from biological or non-biological sources.
“So we may get discussion of ‘the building blocks of life’, but we won’t get ‘We’ve found aliens!’”
The panelists present today include: Ashwin Vasavada, Mars Science Laboratory project scientist, Chris Webster, from NASA’s Pasadena-based Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Paul Mahaffy, director of the Solar System Exploration Division at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and Jen Eigenbrode, research scientist at Goddard.