Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Ageing Mars rover finds water

08 June 2013, 07:54

Washington - Scientists on Friday called Nasa's Opportunity rover gimpy and arthritic but hailed its new discoveries about early water on Mars made 10 years after it was launched toward the Red Planet.

The unmanned solar-powered vehicle has just analysed what may be its oldest rock ever, known as Esperance 6. It contains evidence that potentially life-supporting water once flowed in abundance, leaving clay minerals behind.

"This is powerful evidence that water interacted with this rock and changed its chemistry, changed its mineralogy in a dramatic way," said principal investigator Steve Squyres of Cornell University.

He described the research as "some of the most important" of the decade-long mission because it showcases a very different chemistry than most of the previous discoveries about water on Mars, which is now quite dry.

Scientists believe that a lot of water once flowed through these rocks through some sort of fracture, leaving an unusually high concentration of clay.

The analysis reveals traces of a likely drinkable type of water that dates to the first billion years of Martian history, when clay rocks were forming under a more neutral pH, before conditions became more harsh and water more acidic, Squyres said.

The rover's rock abrasion tool, alpha particle X-ray spectrometer and microscopic imager provided the details to Earth-based scientists, who can learn about the Red Planet's history without bringing its rocks to Earth.

Opportunity and its twin rover Spirit launched in 2003 and landed in January 2004 for what was initially meant to be a three-month exploration. Both discovered evidence of wet environments on ancient Mars.


Tags nasa mars us space

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...