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Tuesday, March 2, 2004

Opportunity Landing Zone "Drenched in Water"

A lake in Pennsylvania.
A lake in Pennsylvania.
NASA scientists announced today that Meridiani Planum, the area that the Opportunity rover landed in, was once "drenched in water," with strong indications that conditions were very favorable towards life. The area may have been a pool, lake, or sea, but more will not be known until more data is obtained. Similar to the Dead Sea in the Middle East, the water was also salty, part of the reason we are able to know of its existence.

This discovery settles once and for all the theory that Mars once was a warmer, wetter place and raises the possibility that it harbored or harbors life significantly. Both a robotic sample return mission and a human exploration of Mars are now imperative to learn more, according to both non-NASA observers and the scientists working on the Mars exploration program at NASA. This also makes it much more likely that terraforming efforts will be successful due to the many unknowns finally resolved by this discovery.

(More info: Yahoo! News)

- posted by Brian @ 16:21 EST