Science

Curiosity finds more signs of water on Mars

PTI Washington | Updated on March 13, 2018 Published on September 25, 2013

NASA’s Curiosity rover has found more evidence of water on ancient Mars during a recent pit stop along the way towards a huge Red Planet mountain.

The one-tonne Curiosity rover resumed a trek of many months toward its mountain-slope destination, Mount Sharp. The rover used instruments on its arm to inspect rocks at its first way-point along the route inside Gale Crater.

The location, originally chosen on the basis of images taken from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, paid-off with investigation of targets that bear evidence of ancient wet environments, the US space agency said.

“We examined pebbly sandstone deposited by water flowing over the surface, and veins or fractures in the rock,” said Dawn Sumner of University of California, Davis.

“We know the veins are younger than the sandstone because they cut through it, but they appear to be filled with grains like the sandstone,” said Sumner.

This Waypoint 1 site at an outcrop called “Darwin” is the first of up to five waypoint stops planned along the route of about 8.6 kilometres between the “Glenelg” area, where Curiosity worked for the first half of 2013, and an entry point to the lower slope of Mount Sharp, the mission’s main destination.

It is about one-fifth of the way along the route. The rover departed Waypoint 1 on September 22 with a westward drive of about 22.8 metres.

Curiosity’s science team planned the waypoints to collect information about the geology between Glenelg and Mount Sharp.

Researchers want to understand relationships between what the mission already discovered at Glenelg and what it may find in the multiple layers of Mount Sharp.

Analysis of drilled samples from veined “Yellowknife Bay” rocks in the Glenelg area provided evidence for a past lakebed environment with conditions favourable for microbial life.

That means the mission has fulfilled its principal science goal, researchers said.

“We want to understand the history of water in Gale Crater,” Sumner said.

“Did the water flow that deposited the pebbly sandstone at Waypoint 1 occur at about the same time as the water flow at Yellowknife Bay? If the same fluid flow produced the veins here and the veins at Yellowknife Bay, you would expect the veins to have the same composition,” Sumner said.

Published on September 25, 2013

A letter from the Editor


Dear Readers,

The coronavirus crisis has changed the world completely in the last few months. All of us have been locked into our homes, economic activity has come to a near standstill. Everyone has been impacted.

Including your favourite business and financial newspaper. Our printing and distribution chains have been severely disrupted across the country, leaving readers without access to newspapers. Newspaper delivery agents have also been unable to service their customers because of multiple restrictions.

In these difficult times, we, at BusinessLine have been working continuously every day so that you are informed about all the developments – whether on the pandemic, on policy responses, or the impact on the world of business and finance. Our team has been working round the clock to keep track of developments so that you – the reader – gets accurate information and actionable insights so that you can protect your jobs, businesses, finances and investments.

We are trying our best to ensure the newspaper reaches your hands every day. We have also ensured that even if your paper is not delivered, you can access BusinessLine in the e-paper format – just as it appears in print. Our website and apps too, are updated every minute, so that you can access the information you want anywhere, anytime.

But all this comes at a heavy cost. As you are aware, the lockdowns have wiped out almost all our entire revenue stream. Sustaining our quality journalism has become extremely challenging. That we have managed so far is thanks to your support. I thank all our subscribers – print and digital – for your support.

I appeal to all or readers to help us navigate these challenging times and help sustain one of the truly independent and credible voices in the world of Indian journalism. Doing so is easy. You can help us enormously simply by subscribing to our digital or e-paper editions. We offer several affordable subscription plans for our website, which includes Portfolio, our investment advisory section that offers rich investment advice from our highly qualified, in-house Research Bureau, the only such team in the Indian newspaper industry.

A little help from you can make a huge difference to the cause of quality journalism!

Support Quality Journalism
null
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor
You have read 1 out of 3 free articles for this week. For full access, please subscribe and get unlimited access to all sections.