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Curiosity Rover Discovers Elements Needed for Life on Mars
On Tuesday, during a press conference, it was revealed that the Curiosity rover from NASA found evidence that ancient Mars had the elements necessary to support life. Curiosity sampled a rock back in February that consisted of hydrogen, sulfur, nitrogen, carbon, oxygen and phosphorous. All of these elements are necessary for a living organism. A statement from NASA said that a streambed contained minerals that probably formed in “relatively fresh water.”
“We have characterized a very ancient, but strangely new ‘gray Mars’ where conditions once were favorable for life,” said John Grotzinger, Mars Science Laboratory project scientist at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif., in the statement. “Curiosity is on a mission of discovery and exploration, and as a team we feel there are many more exciting discoveries ahead of us in the months and years to come.”
“A fundamental question for this mission is whether Mars could have supported a habitable environment,” added Michael Meyer, lead scientist for NASA’s Mars Exploration Program in Washington. “From what we know now, the answer is yes.”
The sample analyzed by Curiosity was found in the “Yellowknife Bay” area of Mars. It was analyzed aboard the rover’s Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM). The rover first found organic matter on Mars in December of 2012.