Friday, 29 October 2010

Mars Rover Spirit Finds Evidence of Water

Above, we see two of Spirit's wheels stuck in the sand on the Martian surface -- the same location where the rover found evidence of water.

Source: Discovery News

Stuck in the sand and with time to spare, Spirit hits the jackpot.

Stuck in the sands of Mars, the grounded Spirit rover unearthed evidence of subsurface water in the planet's recent past.
"It's total serendipity," Washington University planetary scientist Ray Arvidson told Discovery News. "We're driving backwards, the right front wheel doesn't work, so wherever we went we had to drag it along. It's like pushing a shopping cart with a bad front wheel. You don't push it, you pull it, but the wheel has torque."
The rover ended up getting stuck, breaking through the crust and -- surprisingly -- discovering telltale byproducts of water passing through the exceptionally silica-rich patch of soil.
"This sand wasn't normal looking," Arvidson said.
So, with nowhere to go and time to spare, scientists started a layer-by-layer look at what likely will become Spirit's final resting spot.

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