May 23, 2024



Supersalty Water Could’ve Erased Some Evidence of Life on Mars


By George Dvorsky

July 9, 2021

Rocks on Mars preserve a record of the planet’s ancient past, but a surprising discovery made by NASA’s Curiosity rover shows some patches of Martian rock have had their histories completely erased.

The primary purpose of NASA’s Curiosity mission is to evaluate the prior potential for habitability on Mars, while the newly arrived Perseverance mission aims to find actual remnants or signs of prior life. To that end, Curiosity has been investigating sedimentary rocks in Gale crater, which are filled with clay minerals. Clay is an important marker of habitability, as it suggests the pastpresence of liquid water—a key ingredient for life.

Read more…