I would like to know in what manner was the existence of past life was confirmed? But, I would be very pleased for whomever made the final confirmation. What a find! I would love to know more of its past existence.
For me it would be the victory of an endeavor. An endeavor which began amid doubts and uncertainties. Once again the essence of words like "faith" and "optimism" will be established. I would be super excited, impassioned, and would love to be part of further exploration.
I would be elated to say the least! I would have a life on Mars happy dance for sure!
Obviously I would want to know more about this life.. i would be very interested to see how it would compare to Earth life. Ultimately, I think the overall goal of astrobiologists would want to know if life on Mars appeared independently from Earth... or if Earth-life seeded Mars.. or vice versa. I think all in all it would give me hope that we are not alone in the Universe... we can look at statistics all we want.... but proof would really hit the nail on the head, if you will.
My first reaction, caution. I confess ALH84001 got me a little over excited at the time. But if it was officially confirmed, well what can I say, on a bit of a high to say the least. Serious understatement there!
Life discovered on Mars or anywhere outside the sphere of Earth life, would mark massive milestone and would propel us into a completely new era. My own feeling would be, right, now we can really get started! What I mean by that I'm not entirely sure, it’s a gut reaction more than a studied response.
I wonder what the general reaction would be, Sociologically speaking? Speculating here, it would no doubt depend on how developed the life forms discovered were. Judging by the reaction to ALH84001 if the life found was at a microbial level only, I daresay outside the Scientific community, initial interest would soon subside and diminish again. Something that at first would seem surprising. Religions would undoubtedly write it into their belief systems to explain it away. Funding for Space Science projects would get a real boost at last though. I can imagine there being a whole new little green microbe ‘Space Race’. But the discovery of more developed life forms, now that would be a completely different kettle of fish, perhaps even literally. ;)