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SCI/TECH: Mars rover gets first hints of water

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posted on Jan, 12 2004 @ 08:45 AM
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Although the Mars rover Spirit is still on its landing platform, it has already begun making scientific observations of its surroundings. Using its thermal image spectrometer, the Spirit has detected evidence of minerals usually produced in bodies of water.
 

NewScientist.com

The Mars Global Surveyor has detected minerals like these using its own thermal image spectrometer, but the analysis performed by the Spirit indicate that the concentration is far higher in its area. This is an exciting opportunity for scientists to perform tests, which should happen as soon as the Spirit rolls off its platform.

It should be significantly easier for the rover to maneuver around the region as there is a far less percentage of rocks in the area than the number encountered in previous missions. If all goes well, the Spirit should have many opportunities to test the soil for signs of water, which may show evidence of previous life on Mars.

[Edited on 12-1-2004 by Nerdling]




posted on Jan, 12 2004 @ 01:07 PM
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Indeed, exciting news. There is still however the chance our hopes will be dashed and the carbonates are due to reactions in the atmosphere. Though the possibility of clay is most interesting.



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