The Thirty Minute Blogger

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Monday, September 28, 2015

Breaking News: Water Found on Mars

Curiosity rover landing site on Mars. Courtesy of NASA.
Today NASA declared that they have found evidence of water moving across the surface of Mars in certain areas during the spring and summer months in both the northern and southern hemispheres. Evidence came from Recurring Slope Linea, dark lines descending from high slopes during those warmer months. This water is highly salted, allowing it to remain liquid at much cooler temperatures, down to -70 degrees C. So Mars is a much wetter world than previously thought.

The entire hour long press conference was fascinating in its explanation about how evidence from multiple spacecraft and rovers combined brought about this important discovery. While at this point NASA officials were unwilling to say whether or not this improves chances that life might be found at the surface of Mars, everyone on the team felt that life deep below the surface, sustained by water and ice found there, was a virtual certainty.

The presence of water at the surface also has importance for future Mars missions involving humans exploring the red planet directly. Stay tuned for future developments. This will certainly impact what equipment is carried on future robots headed for Mars. 

For the highlights from today's historic news conference, see: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/mars/main/index.html

For what the scientists currently believe was Mars's early life as a world like ours, see: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/mars/main/index.html 

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