NASA says Curiosity rover finds evidence of water on Mars
Less than two months into its mission, NASA scientist say the Curiosity rover has found evidence of a "vigorous" thousand-year water flow on the surface of Mars.
On Thursday, scientists said they have found new evidence that water, one of the keys to sustaining life, once raced across an area not far from where Curiosity landed in August.
The evidence came in the form of an outcropping of rocks that appears to have been heaved up and covered with streambed gravel. The rover drove by the outcropping, which had earlier been spotted by one of NASA's Mars orbiters.
"We found interesting outcrops," said John Grotzinger, a project scientist with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and a geology professor at the California Institute of Technology. "It looks like someone came along with a jackhammer and lifted up a sidewalk... This is a rock that was formed in the presence of water... a vigorous flow in the surface of Mars. We are really excited about this because this is the reason we came to this site."
Scientists said they believe the water moved at about three feet per second, at a depth between ankle and hip deep. While they could not say when the water flow started or stopped, they estimated that it lasted more than 1,000 years.
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