Research by the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has shown that the planet is home to rocks rich in carbonate minerals, which form in the presence of water. Dr. Richard Morris from the Johnson Space Center in Houston led the study, which was based on a new analysis of data from NASA’s Exploration Rover.
Previous explorations had already indicated the presence of carbonate minerals, but the most recent analysis showed a full 25% carbonate by weight, or 10 times higher than what was known before.
Dr Morris stated, “It looks like Mars had a dense carbon dioxide atmosphere, so there was some kind of greenhouse effect. The atmosphere now is very thin, - it could have blown into space or it could have interacted with water and is now present in the rocks.”
Confirming evidence of water on Mars helps scientists answer a larger question about the planet’s ability to host life.
The European Space Agency will be seeking further clues in its upcoming ExoMars mission, which plans to send a rover vehicle in 2018.
The probe will be equipped with special instruments that can detect organic molecules as well as microscopic fossil formations of living beings.
Dr. Morris, National Aeronautics and Space Administration and European Space Agency scientists, this is indeed fascinating! We look forward to more understanding of the mysteries of our planetary neighbor, which also provide insights into life on Earth.
In an October 2009 videoconference in Hong Kong, Supreme Master Ching Hai shared further thoughts about the past greenhouse gas crisis on Mars while reminding of the urgent need for humanity to take action in protecting our planetary home.