Possible Water on Mars?

Possible Water on Mars?

Zachary Blake, Staff Writer

New evidence from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter provides the most compelling findings of liquid flowing on present-day Mars. This leads to compelling evidence for possible life on mars. The MRO, launched on August 12, 2005 by the United States, costed roughly $720 million dollars to build.

According to John Mace Grunsfeld, an American physicist and a former NASA astronaut, “This is a significant development, as it appears to confirm that water — albeit briny — is flowing today on the surface of Mars.”

Recently, the MRO spotted downhill flows on the surface of Mars. These slopes are known as RSL, or recurring slope lineae. New findings of the NASA space program have shown drifts or dunes on the surface of Mars.

It allows for further research to look into the idea that there may be possible life on other planets in our solar system. Life on other planets has been just a figment of our imaginations so far.

In the past scientists have stated there is possible ancient water or frozen water from millennia passed, but never any recent water. Only recently has there been a surfacing of hypotheses’ or ideas of such a thing being a possibility. It has been known for a long time prior to this surfacing of information that there was water on Mars. This has led to lots of speculation on the topic of possible life there.

The recent information has been more convincing than previous information, which is causing a disturbance throughout the scientific community. It causes lots of shifting and disruption because of the possibility that there is life outside of Earth. The uprising of recent chatter and speculation is caused by the fresh-looking gullies and drifts caused by the flow of water.

The streaks and drifts were caused by the melting of the caps and the water being able to flow instead of being stuck in an icy form. During the summer the streaks would appear, lengthen, and thicken, but during the winter months the water would freeze up and stop flowing. It would not leave the streaks as caused in the summer months of the year.

In the 1970’s Viking mission, the RSLs were detected with traces of salts, but never any hydrated forms. The hydrated salt aggregations were found in different areas than those scanned by the rovers. This is also the first time perchlorates, or the salt base that derives from a perchloric acid, have been identified from orbit.

“It took multiple spacecraft over several years to solve this mystery, and now we know there is liquid water on the surface of this cold, desert planet,” said Michael Meyer,  one of the lead scientists on NASA’s Mars Exploration Program. “It seems that the more we study Mars, the more we learn how life could be supported and where there are resources to support life in the future.”