This site provided an article about the challenges for making starships may be less if Brown dwarf stars are discovered in 2010 from the NASA WISE project and the Brad Edwards Space elevator interview
A group of scientists has been looking closer (literally, they’re using better electron microscopes than we had in 1996) at ALH 84001 for the last 13 years, and last month they published a paper claiming that the suggested geologic processes could not have made the formations found in the meteorite. In other words they disproved the disproof of their original hypothesis, which was that there was once life in this rock. Now, and this is very important to note, they do not claim to have found proof of life, or to have found indications of life. They simply claim that the possibility of a “biogenic origin” is once more back on the table.
The magnetite is argued to be too pure for non-life origins.
It is possible that a fraction of the magnetite crystals are not inconsistent with life on Mars. Is this evidence for life on Mars? I give it a definitive “maybe”. It’s clear that the debate is far from over, and I expect to see some interesting rebuttal papers in the next few years. “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” Right now I think the evidence is not extraordinary, but it may be getting there.