The Telegraph has reported that NASA has uncovered new potential evidence for “life on Mars” after the Spirit Rover got stuck in the mud!
NASA scientists have revealed fresh evidence that water formed on Mars in potentially life supporting environments more recently than previously thought. Researchers at the American space agency made the discovery after the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit became stuck in wet ground on the red planet.
According to Nasa, the Mars explorer became stuck in April last year when its left wheels broke through the surface’s crust called “Troy” and fell into soft sand below. The soil exposed by Spirit’s spinning wheels carries clues that Mars may still be wet.
Scientists had always believed water formed more than a billion years ago but the latest discovery is the first sign of liquid forming in the past few hundred thousands years. A revelation that has excited astronomers worldwide.
Nasa’s latest study, reported in the Journal of Geophysical Research, concluded the liquid likely formed from melting snow, which then trickled into the subsurface and dissolved. The seepage could have happened during cyclical climate changes in periods when Mars tilted farther on its axis. According to the NASA team:
“On Earth … hydrothermal systems provide the environmental conditions, water, nutrients and energy sources needed to sustain robust microbial communities. It seems likely the region (on Mars)… may have likewise supported a habitable environment… liquid water and life kind of go together.”
The study comes after Nasa unveiled bold plans to send humans on a one-way trip to Mars to permanently colonize the planet.