NASA’s Opportunity Mars rover has discovered even more compelling evidence that there was fresh water on the surface of the Red Planet in the past.
One of NASA’s Mars rovers has discovered even more compelling evidence that there was fresh water on the surface of the Red Planet in the past.
This time, the Opportunity rover, which has been on Mars for 9 and a half years, analyzed a rock with clay minerals indicative of the kind of water suitable for sustaining life.
The low acidity level picked up in the clay minerals means that the water on Mars may have even been good enough to drink.
The mission’s lead scientist said that out of all the information that Opportunity has uncovered and sent back to Earth: “This was really one of the most technically challenging and one of the most scientifically rewarding targets of our whole mission.”
Opportunity is already on to the next location after finding geological evidence of water, but the rover, launched in 2003 is getting a little worn out.
It reportedly has a case of what scientists call arthritis in one arm, and the flash memory is getting spotty.
It was originally planned to undertake a 90 day mission, but has been going strong for almost a decade.