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Traces of water found on Mars

At least in the distant past the Red planet had a liquid bodies of water

13.Feb.23 9:35 AM
By Shawn Highstraw
Photo NASA


Traces of water found on Mars

Mars rover Curiosity has found new evidence that there was once water on the red planet. On the slope of a mountain, the cart photographed wave patterns in the rock. According to NASA scientists, these are formed by water.

Last year, Curiosity reached the mountain named Mount Sharp. It was already expected that this salt-rich area would contain traces from the time Mars dried up. The scientists only expected to find no evidence of waves.

The rover has sent images of a wave pattern in a rock. The rock once lay at the bottom of a body of water. "This is the best evidence of water and waves that we have seen during the entire mission," says Ashwin Vasavada, project scientist at NASA.

Curiosity discovered the wave pattern at about 800 meters above the foot of Mount Sharp. That area is called The Marker Band. That's a layer of dark, hard rock that stands out from the rest of the rust-colored landscape.

The Rock in the Marker Band is so hard that Curiosity can't sample it. The team is therefore looking for an area of softer rock to be able to analyze it.

Curiosity arrived on Mars in 2012. The rover is so successful that NASA chose to use the design as the basis for the newer Perseverance rover. Curiosity landed in the so-called Gale Crater and has driven to Mount Sharp in recent years. That mountain is at the bottom of the crater.

The rover is equipped with instruments to study the climate and geology inside the crater. The trolley also examines whether there has ever been life. The search for the former presence of water on Mars is an important part of the mission.

NASA has decided to continue using Curiosity as long as the rover can continue to operate. This is becoming an increasing challenge, because the tires of the trolley have been deformed and perforated in recent years.

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