As NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity landed on its new site, Endeavour crater, on the Martian surface on August 9, scientists assumed it started paving way towards possible future human missions to planet Mars.
Rover arrived at the crater’s rim to examine rocks much ancient than those studied before, NASA said in a statement.
NASA’s Mars Exploration Orbiter, which was launched on August 12, 2005, had detected clay minerals at Endeavour crater pointing towards possibility of an early warmer and wetter period.
“Clay minerals form in wet conditions so we may learn about a potentially habitable environment that appears to have been very different from those responsible for the rocks comprising the plains,” said Matthew Golombek, Mars Exploration Rover science team member.
Several evidences that suggest water flowed on Mars have been discovered in the recent past. Scientists speculate that water may have supported microbial life on the Red Planet but “if water remained long enough to provide a habitat for life,” is not yet found.
As NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity continues its operations to get confirmed clues to wet environments on ancient Mars at the new site, have a look at some of the latest Mars’ pictures that were never seen before. Press ‘Start.’