The NASA Curiosity rover started its expedition on Mars four years ago when it landed on the Gale Crater area of the Red Planet. Since then, it has been traveling around, drilling the surface and analyzing the samples. The data collected by the rover are directly sent to NASA for further investigations. Recently obtained data indicate that Mars was habitable and microbial life on Mars existed billions of years ago.
Currently, Curiosity is making its way up the range of layered mountains. The results of analysis of the samples from the mountain show that the surface of the mountain is rich in minerals with variegated chemistry and textures. The presence of minerals such as boron in the veins of the mountain supports the hypothesis that water existed there in the past. Joy Crisp, Deputy Project Scientist at Mars Science Laboratory, NASA, said that, "We're finding different habitable environments as we go along."
Researchers also believe that in the distant past, a lake occurred at the base of the mountain on Mars, which was eventually retreated inside the surface in the form of groundwater. It is also possible that gradually, boron and other minerals were dissolved into the ground water. Experts say that the presence of water and dissolved boron indicates that the water may have been warm and less acidic then, which suits the conditions necessary for the origin of life on Mars. Patrick Gasda, post-doctoral student, Los Alamos National Laboratory, said, "It's telling us this water is very interesting and has this dynamic chemistry," The Verge reported.To read more, click here.