More reports on: Space missions

NASA's Opportunity Mars Rover uncovers evidence of ancient lake on the planet

28 June 2017

NASA's Opportunity Mars Rover, which had been exploring Mars since 2004, has uncovered evidence of the existence of an ancient lake, which was once flooded with running water, the US-based space agency said in an official press release.

The presence of water on the Red Planet had been a topic of much interest for the global scientific and astronomical community.

A number of experiments conducted earlier had confirmed the presence of water on ancient Mars. Now, one of NASA's Mars Rovers had found evidence of an ancient lake on the Martian surface, which once-upon-a-time was flooded with a liquid like water.

NASA officials had stated that the Opportunity Rover had tracked down the rocks, stationed at the border of Endeavour Crater that was either shifted by a flood or battered in place by the high force of Martian wind. The features of an ancient lake with the possibility of presence of water were found on the outer surface of the edge of Endeavour Crater's Crest, located over `Perseverance Valley'. According to NASA officials, the features were found imprinted into the internal gradient of the border.

The features were seen just outside the crater rim's crest above `Perseverance Valley,' which had been carved into the inner slope of the rim.

The researchers now plan to drive Opportunity down Perseverance Valley after completion of a ''walkabout'' survey of the area above it.

The investigation of the sites by the Opportunity mission had been ongoing at the sites on and near the western rim of Endeavour Crater since 2011. The crater measures 22 km across.

''The walkabout is designed to look at what's just above Perseverance Valley,'' said Ray Arvidson, from Washington University in St Louis, The Tecake reported.

''We see a pattern of striations running east-west outside the crest of the rim,'' said Arvidson, deputy principal investigator of the Opportunity mission.

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