Mars Had The Right Stuff For Life, Scientists Find
CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) - Seven months after NASA's rover Curiosity landed on Mars to assess if the planet most like Earth had the ingredients for life, scientists have their answer: Yes.
Analysis of a powder drilled from an ancient and once water-soaked rock at the rover's Gale Crater
landing site show clays, sulfates and other minerals that are all key
to life, the scientists told a news conference at NASA's headquarters on
The water that once
flowed through the area, known as Yellowknife Bay, was likely
drinkable, said Curiosity's lead scientist John Grotzinger, who is with the California Institute of Technology.
The analysis stopped short of a confirmation of
organics, which are necessary for Earth-like life. But with 17 more
months left in the rover's primary mission, scientists said they expect
to hone in on that question.
who spoke at the U.S. space agency's headquarters in Washington, also
talked on a conference call with reporters based elsewhere.
While the $2.5 billion Curiosity mission is not a
life-detection exploration, it is intended to find places where
organics, if they exist, could have been preserved.
The rover touched down inside Gale Crater on August 6 to begin the two-year mission.
Wednesday, December 11 2013 1:05 AM EST2013-12-11 06:05:12 GMT
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