(HorizonPost.com) – Scientists have discovered evidence of water on Mars. The NASA rover Curiosity has found indicators of what was once a lake on the Red Planet. NASA has described the findings as the best evidence they’ve yet encountered. Scientist Ashwin Vasavada said, “We climbed through thousands of feet of lake deposits and never saw evidence like this — and now we found it in a place we expected to be dry.” The signs of water include marks in the rock that resemble ripples, signifying that water once flowed there. A press release from NASA said, “Billions of years ago, waves on the surface of a shallow lake stirred up sediment at the lake bottom, over time creating rippled textures left in rock.”
Curiosity is a device that has been roaming the surface of Mars since 2012. It was launched from Cape Canaveral in November 2011. Its mission is to study the ecology and geology of the Red Planet and to see if there has been life there. It is also an exploratory assignment aimed at discovering whether humans could visit the planet. Curiosity is about the size of a car and traveled more than 350 million miles to reach its destination.
So far, Curiosity’s findings include a discovery of the mineral hematite, which NASA says typically forms in water. While this provides evidence of water on the planet, scientists say it may have been too acidic to sustain life as we know it.
However, a rover known as Spirit could have located an area more suitable to life. In 2010, NASA issued a press release stating that Spirit had found evidence of a wet, non-acidic environment. It remains one of the most significant Martian findings to date.
While Curiosity sends images home to earth, the vehicle itself is not expected to return. Doug McCuistion, Director of NASA’s Mars Exploration program, said he hopes one day that humans will instead go to Mars to greet the hard-working explorer.
Copyright 2023, HorizonPost.com