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Mars once had water, says NASA

March 03, 2004 17:24 IST

NASA scientists confirmed Tuesday that Mars rover Opportunity had found evidence indicating the presence of water on the Red planet, though no direct traces of living organisms have been found so far, report agencies.

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"Opportunity has landed in an area of Mars where liquid water once drenched the surface," associate NASA administrator for space science, Edward Weiler, told  a news conference. "This area would have been a good, habitable environment."

 "NASA launched the Mars Exploration Rover mission specifically to check whether at least one part of Mars had a persistently wet environment that could possibly have been hospitable to life," said NASA scientist James Garvin. 'Today we have strong evidence for an exciting answer: Yes."

A detailed examination of rock surfaces by the rover, which landed on the Red planet five weeks ago, indicated the presence of minerals and sulfates that form in the presence of water. But no direct evidence of life was found.

The unmanned six-wheeled rover and its twin, Spirit,  are controlled and moderated by scientists working at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

 

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