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In an exciting discovery, NASA says that ancient Mars could have supported primitive life.
According to The Associated Press, NASA’s Curiosity rover analyzed Mars rocks. The robot is the first sent to the red planet that has the ability to crush rocks and test samples.
The small rock sample contained clay materials that could only have been made thanks to water. This environment would have been able to support micro-organisms.
“A fundamental question for this mission is whether Mars could have supported a habitable environment,” Michael Meyer, NASA’s lead scientist for Mars exploration, said during a press conference in Washington, reports Space.com. “From what we know now, the answer is yes.”
The robot previously found signs of water when it discovered a dried streambed. It used two instruments - Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) and Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) - to analyze the rock, which it found on Feb. 8. NASA is still trying to work around a computer glitch, but they hope that patches this week will help the robot return to full mission operations.
Curiosity has been on Mars since August and is in the middle of a two-year mission.