Mars Rover Finds Intriguing New Evidence of Water

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The first drilling site for the Mars rover Curiosity.
(image by Image courtesy MSSS/Caltech/NASA)
The first drill sample ever collected on Mars will come from a rockbed shot through with unexpected veins of what appears to be the mineral gypsum. Delighted members of the Curiosity science team announced Tuesday that the rover was now in a virtual "candy store" of scientific targets--the lowest point of Gale crater, called Yellowknife Bay, is filled with many different materials that could have been created only in the presence of water. Project scientist John Grotzinger said during a press conference that the drill area has turned out "to be jackpot unit. Every place we drive exposes fractures and vein fills." Curiosity scientists have already concluded that a briskly moving river or stream once flowed near the Gale landing site. Now the mission can look forward to the surprises to come at the mountain base while already having struck gold.

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