Asteroids play the role of time capsules showing what molecules originally existed in our solar system, and may help explain how life started on Earth. Finding complex molecules in asteroids provides the strongest evidence that such compounds were present on the Earth before life formed, said Nicholas Hud from Georgia Institute of Technology in the US.

Knowing what molecules were present helps establish the initial conditions that led to the formation of amino acids and related compounds that, in turn, came together to form peptides, small protein-like molecules that may have kicked off life on our planet. 
 
What
  1. NASA scientists have been analysing compounds found in asteroids and meteorites for decades, and their work provides a solid understanding for what might have been present when the Earth itself was formed. 
  2. Detection of a molecule in an asteroid or meteorite is about the only evidence everyone will accept for that molecule being prebiotic. It is something we can really lean on.
  3. Knowing what molecules were present helps establish the initial conditions that led to the formation of amino acids and related compounds that, in turn, came together to form peptides, small protein-like molecules that may have kicked off life on our planet.
  4. He believes there are many possible ways that the molecules of life could have formed. Life could have gotten started with molecules that are less sophisticated and less efficient than what we see today. Like life itself, these molecules could have evolved over time. 
  5. The overall structure can be very similar and would be easier to make, though it does not have the ability to fold into as complex structures as modern proteins. 
  6. There is a tradeoff between the simplicity of forming these molecules and how close these molecules are to those found in contemporary life.