A Republican congressman wants to know if life, including any advanced civilizations, ever lived on Mars.

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., asked a panel of space science experts testifying before the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology on Tuesday if it's possible there was civilization on Mars in the past, and whether life on Mars is possible now.

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

Kenneth Farley, who serves as a project scientist for NASA's Mars Rover 2020 Project, told Rohrabacher the premise of his question was off.

"So, the evidence is that Mars was different billions of years ago, not thousands of years ago," Farley said. "There is no evidence that I'm aware of."

But Rohrabacher pressed further.

"Would you rule that out?" the California Republican asked, referring to civilizations on Mars.

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