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Mars Curiosity rover searches in vein for signs of life

January 16, 2013

Mars Curiosity rover searches in vein for signs of life

The Mars curiosity rover is preparing to use its drill for the first time.

NASA’s Curiosity rover is preparing to send its powerful impact drill through the surface of Mars for the first time, targeting a rocky outcrop fractured by vein-like channels– channels that probably once held water.

“What these vein fills tell us is water percolated through these rocks,” said project scientist John Grotzinger, of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. “[Water percolated] through these fracture networks and then minerals precipitated to form the white material that ChemCam (a rover instrument) has concluded is very likely a calcium sulfate, probably hydrated in origin.”

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