NASA Curiosity Rover's Rock Sample Suggests Life on Mars
March 12, 2013 5:00 PM
comment(s) - last by
A second drilled sample will be used to confirm these results
NASA's Curiosity rover
has found further proof that Mars could have, at one time, supported life.
Curiosity collected a sedimentary rock sample in the Yellowknife Bay area, which is the end of an ancient stream bed in Mars' Gale Crater.
The rock sample contains nitrogen, sulfur, oxygen, hydrogen, carbon and phosphorous, which are all indicative of possible life.
Also, clay minerals make up about 20 percent of
the rock's composition
, and according to NASA, clay minerals are the end result of the reaction of igneous minerals and fresh water. The reaction could have taken place within the sedimentary deposit or in the source region of the sediment.
Also, calcium sulfate found with the clay indicates that the soil is neutral or "mildly alkaline." The finding of a combination of oxidized, less-oxidized and non-oxidized chemicals offers an energy gradient that many microbes on Earth take advantage of.
"We have characterized a very ancient, but strangely new 'gray Mars' where conditions once were favorable for life," said John Grotzinger, Mars Science Laboratory project scientist at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif. "Curiosity is on a
mission of discovery
and exploration, and as a team we feel there are many more exciting discoveries ahead of us in the months and years to come."
A second drilled sample will be used to confirm these results.
Curiosity will spend several more weeks in the Yellowknife Bay area before setting off to Mount Sharp -- a central mound in Gale Crater.
"A fundamental question for this mission is whether Mars could have supported a habitable environment," said Michael Meyer, lead scientist for NASA's Mars Exploration Program at the agency's headquarters in Washington.
"From what we know now, the answer is yes."
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
Very misleading title.
3/13/2013 7:50:50 AM
This is very misleading title. The proper title should say:
"Despite intensive search no sing of life found anywhere in the Universe except on Earth".
RE: Very misleading title.
3/13/2013 10:00:13 AM
If they found a decorated house sitting in the middle of some crater on Mars, they would conclude that there must have been intelligent life that built it.
If they found one buried alongside dinosaur bones on Earth, they would conclude that it must have evolved over millions of years.
RE: Very misleading title.
3/13/2013 2:17:07 PM
I utterly fail to see how some samples taken from our moon and 1 other planet in our own Solar System remotely approaches an intensive search of the entire Universe.
It's completely absurd to think we would ever even be capable of intensively searching the entire Universe, or even our own Galaxy for that matter.
"If you mod me down, I will become more insightful than you can possibly imagine." -- Slashdot
NASA Rover Curiosity Blasts Its First Rock on Mars
August 20, 2012, 11:46 AM
NASA Rover Curiosity Lands Successfully on Mars, To Explore Surface for 2 Years
August 6, 2012, 1:04 PM
NASA Mars Rover Curiosity: So Far, So Good
November 28, 2011, 8:39 AM
Chagrined Over Leaks, CDC Confirms First U.S. Ebola Diagnosis in Dallas, Texas
September 30, 2014, 5:55 PM
Nail Polish May Soon be Able to Detect Date Rape Drugs
August 26, 2014, 7:57 AM
SpaceX Falcon 9-R Rocket Suffers Malfunction, Self-Destructs During Test Flight
August 23, 2014, 9:36 AM
Texas Chosen as Site for SpaceX's First Commercial Launchpad
August 5, 2014, 1:44 PM
South Carolina Prison Finds Crashed Drone Carrying Drugs, Phones
August 1, 2014, 2:49 PM
NASA's Mars 2020 Rover Gains Seven New Instruments for Exploration
August 1, 2014, 1:30 PM
Most Popular Articles
New AT&T Mobile Share Value "Double Data" Promotion Lasts Through October
September 28, 2014, 8:32 AM
Update: Apple Releases iOS 8.0.2 Update to Make Up for Botched 8.0.1 Release
September 25, 2014, 8:19 PM
Appalling Negligence: Decade-Old Windows XPe Holes Led to Home Depot Hack
September 8, 2014, 8:58 PM
TiVo Mega Features 24TB of Storage, Can Record Three Years* Worth of TV Content
September 8, 2014, 8:45 AM
FBI Outraged That Apple, Google are Adopting Digital "Locks" to Protect Users
September 26, 2014, 1:00 PM
Latest Blog Posts
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
Space Terrorism is a Looming Threat For the United States
Apr 23, 2014, 7:47 PM
Facebook Aims to Provide Internet to "Every Person in the World" with Drones, Satellites
Apr 1, 2014, 10:20 AM
Retail Mobile Sites Experience Outages in Light of Simplexity's Bankruptcy
Mar 14, 2014, 8:48 AM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information