Mars Spirit Rover Discovered Boundary Between Gusev Lava and Older, Water-Drenched Rocks in “Columbia Hills”

"The rocks in the Columbia Hills ­ they've seen a lot of water! They've been soaked, they've been altered, there is all sort of evidence that it was a different Mars when those rocks were laid down."

- Larry Crumpler, Ph.D., Geologist

 January 18, 2004, composite image by Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) and Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) daily global images acquired at Ls 145°. Produced by NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems.
January 18, 2004, composite image by Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) and Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) daily global images acquired at Ls 145°. Produced by NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems.

February 25, 2005  Albuquerque, New Mexico - There was a discovery by the Spirit Rover on Mars which thrilled NASA scientists in the summer of 2004. Both rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, have been looking for hard geological evidence that Mars had a watery past. Spirit's discovery would hold up in a "court room" as solid evidence of water, one geologist told me. And if there was once a lot of water on the Martian surface, was there life in that water? If organisms did live in Martian water, could they still be frozen in surface ice - or even living today underground and in caves on Mars? Could living organisms explain methane, formaldehyde and water vapor reported in the Martian atmosphere?

 

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