Mars rover Opportunity ("Opportunity") has confirmed a discovery made earlier Curiosity — he has found evidence that Mars had water in ancient times, suitable for living organisms, NASA experts said.
Earlier data from robotic probes showed that the Martian water differed extreme high salinity and acidity. Mars Rover Curiosity in March received evidence that the Martian natural environment in ancient times was suitable for life, in particular, the water was almost fresh and neutral. Now the results of the "older" rover confirmed this finding.
© Photo: NASA / JPL-Caltech / MSSS
Water and clay made the rover to stay at the stone "Cumberland"
According to the supervisor of the teleconference mission Steve Squires (Steve Squyres), Opportunity has studied the chemical composition of the stone, which was given the designation scientists Esperance 6, fixing the ratio of aluminum, potassium, calcium and sodium, and iron in the clay rock in its crevices. This "clay" could be formed only in the presence of large amounts of water. It was found that the water was almost fresh.
Scientists: Mars-third more than 3 billion years ago, covered the ocean of liquid water
"It was the water that you could drink" — said Squires, noting that so far on Mars found traces of water, which was more similar to sulfuric acid. "The result — one of the most important discoveries for the whole mission," — he added.
Now Mars rover Opportunity is sent to a new area for continuing research — the so-called point Solander (Solander Point), where the outcrop with many layers of interesting from a geological point of view.
Mars rover Opportunity and its "twin" Spirit went to Mars in the June 10 and July 7, 2003. It was expected that they have worked for at the surface of the planet for about three months, but the Spirit worked until 2010, and Opportunity is still working.
RIA Novosti reported.