Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) on Tuesday pressed NASA on whether ancient civilizations existed on Mars.

Rohrabacher asked a panel of space experts testifying before the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology if civilizations could have existed on Mars thousands of years ago.

"You have indicated that Mars had, was totally different thousands of years ago. Is it possible that there was a civilization on Mars thousands of years ago?” Rohrabacher asked.

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Kenneth Farley, a project scientist on NASA’s Mars Rover 2020 Project, said the congressman’s premise behind the question was inaccurate because evidence showed that Mars was significantly different billions of years ago, not thousands.

"There is no evidence that I'm aware of,” Farley said.

"Would you rule that out?” Rohrabacher asked, referring to civilizations existing on the planet.

"I would say that is extremely unlikely," Farley responded.

The hearing was about missions to other planets, including the Mars Rover 2020 project.