March 18th, 2013
02:33 PM ET

On Mars, more water evidence in drilling area

By Elizabeth Landau, CNN

Last week we learned that, yes, Mars could have hosted life, based on the analysis of powder procured by rover Curiosity drilling into the Red Planet.

Now, data from other instruments on board Curiosity show more evidence of water in the area. The rover's Mast Camera (Mastcam) spotted evidence of water-bearing minerals in the "Yellowknife Bay" area where Curiosity drilled. Mastcam has infrared-imaging capability that allows scientists to detect certain minerals.

Scientists released the news at a briefing at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in The Woodlands, Texas.

"With Mastcam, we see elevated hydration signals in the narrow veins that cut many of the rocks in this area,"  Melissa Rice of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena said in a statement. "These bright veins contain hydrated minerals that are different from the clay minerals in the surrounding rock matrix."

Another instrument on board Curiosity adds to these findings. The Russian-made Dynamic Albedo of Neutrons tool detected hydrogen under the rover that appears to be part of water molecules that are bound into minerals. There is more of this evidence of water at Yellowknife Bay than at other sites Curiosity has visited so far, researchers said.

The clay that Curiosity discovered during its drilling must have been created by wet environmental processes, NASA said. The overall mix of chemical elements didn't change much when the clays were produced, scientists said. Information from the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer, a Canadian-made technology, delivered this insight.

The rock outcrop into which Curiosity drilled appears to have an elemental composition that matches basalt, the most commonly seen rock on Mars.

Curiosity landed on Mars on August 6. The rover weighs 2 tons and is about the size of a small SUV. The mission costs $2.5 billion.

Read about last week's results

Post by:
Filed under: In Space • Mars
soundoff (81 Responses)
  1. mark chapa

    it is time too drill for DAML+OIL

    March 26, 2013 at 12:45 am |
  2. Vic

    A man walked up to a scientist and said "I am a big fan, I love what you do, and I don't believe in that nonsense about God!" The scientist scratched his head and asked "Do you have proof there is no God?!" The man answered "No!" Then the scientist said "Get out my face!"
    Another man was standing by and heard the exchange, then came up to the scientist and said "I believe in God!" The scientist said "Do you have proof?!" The man said "Just look around!" Then the scientist sighed and said "I'll give you that!!!

    !!!This Universe and Life in it have "Prima Facie" Revelation about God!!!

    Related Posts:

    March 24, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
    • NASA: Mars could have supported life

      March 28, 2013 at 10:19 am |
  3. Maybe

    So after y'all destroy the earth y'all gonna go to mars and destroy it as well? Damn...

    March 21, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
    • D

      "Destroy Mars"? That's a stupid comment.

      March 22, 2013 at 12:53 am |
  4. aSIMetrical

    All I want to know is how much does Curiosity actually weigh. Is it the 2,000-lbs that the first photo description states, or the 2 tons that the end of the article states.

    March 20, 2013 at 11:36 am |
    • D

      Its my guess the writer goofed up in reporting the poundage.

      March 20, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
  5. E. Cruzan

    i wonder if they found elvis yet?!?!

    March 20, 2013 at 5:06 am |
  6. Cal Newlan

    Mars is a dead planet. I'm bored with it already. We need to concentrate on Europa. We could send a probe down to Europa's surface with a small pellet of plutonium that will heat the probe so that it sinks down to the liquid ocean a few kilometers down. Then we can explore Europa's ocean. Now that's interesting!

    March 19, 2013 at 11:41 am |
    • beauboss

      I totally agree with you Cal Newlan. Good point

      March 21, 2013 at 7:49 am |
      • D

        Humans have a much better chance of being able to live on Mars some day, as opposed to Europa.

        March 21, 2013 at 11:20 am |
  7. Big Jim

    Hey Guys, Love the comments. Thanks for making me feel smart and well adjusted.

    March 19, 2013 at 11:13 am |
  8. Davis Applewhite

    What I love about this is that it finally proves, once and for all, that the United States did not go to the moon. The lack of oxygen and vacuum environment would have caused the astronauts to explode.

    March 19, 2013 at 11:02 am |
    • Jim

      My physics professor agrees with you. He unequivocally states the Apollo missions were a sham – faked.

      March 19, 2013 at 11:05 am |
      • jerseyguy36

        Change Schools now. This guy is dangerous at best. He obviously knows nothing of the nature of our space program, likely Jealous that he was not part of it. This is my Unequivocal message to you. I was a part of our Space program.

        March 21, 2013 at 1:01 am |
    • Optimus

      Apollo astronauts weren't in a vacuum environment. They were in a pressurized capsule and/or pressurized space suits that provided breathable oxygen.

      March 19, 2013 at 11:16 am |
      • Cal Newlan

        Yeah, right ....

        March 19, 2013 at 11:20 am |
    • D

      Hey, I saw that movie! Capricorn One (1977 or 1978 I think) was a good movie!

      March 19, 2013 at 11:31 am |
  9. D

    "The mission costs $2.5 billion." You just HAD TO mention the cost, when it really adds nothing to the article? Are you trying to get the attention of the nitwit politicians so they will cut NASA's budget once again? Once upon a time, the US was ahead in the "space race" we have lost alot of ground due to cuts.

    March 19, 2013 at 10:55 am |
    • jerseyguy36

      Just exactly how did it cost us anything? To whom did we pay this 2.5 Billion? I was of the opinion we paid it to ourselves in the form of Wages to scientist, engineers and Technicians and tens of thousands of support staff. Most of the cost o Materials is in the form of labor to produce them and the rest is Taxes. So how did it cost anything?

      March 21, 2013 at 1:06 am |
      • D

        The salaries for the NASA scientists and workers, as well as the supplies used for the project, are paid via our taxes...So no, we did not pay it to "ourselve"....and in my opinion, it is money that was well spent.

        March 21, 2013 at 4:28 am |
  10. NoDisgrace

    I would love for them to find live on Mars. Just to see the major religions of the world try to explain this one would be worth all the money spent on this spacecraft.

    March 19, 2013 at 10:34 am |
    • Chris

      Reminds me of that American Dad episode when everyone was going to heaven but smith and his family. Stan introduces jesus to rodger, than jesus says "O an alien, one of my fathers side projects".

      March 21, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
  11. dl

    There is no other intelligent alien life anywhere in the Universe because God made man in His image... and God does not lie – there – mystery solved!

    March 19, 2013 at 10:16 am |
    • SentTheWave

      To lie, one must first exist.

      March 19, 2013 at 10:42 am |
    • D

      Oh really? How do you explain the findings of intelligence in dogs, dolphins, apes and some birds? Perhaps God looks like them?

      March 19, 2013 at 10:58 am |
    • Reality Speaks!

      If an alien looked at you, he'd likely come to the same conclusion.

      March 21, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
      • D

        ha ha ha! Good point!

        March 21, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
  12. Buck Rogers

    Photo #4 in the above slide – looks like 'curiosity' drilled into concrete. Does anyone know what type of mixture they used for this 'demonstration'?

    March 19, 2013 at 9:46 am |
    • Optimus

      When you don't understand something, it's just easier for people like Buck to believe in a conspiracy.

      March 19, 2013 at 11:01 am |
    • Buck Rogers

      Ya mean the 'three-foil-thick' lEM "held together with staples and scotch tape" actually "landed" on the moon back in '69? And that before NASA "landed" curiosity with a 'sky crane' that they only tested once (in a building), they "landed" the other rovers with parachutes?? Golly, I was starting to think that the whole thing was just an astro-evolutionary show, but you have now shown me the error of my thinking....

      March 20, 2013 at 11:46 am |
      • Reality Speaks!

        Curiosity was landed by sky-crane because it was too heavy for parachutes and the rolling 'air balls' of previous landings (c.f. Spirit and Opportunity).

        The LEM (Lunar Excursion Module) was designed to be lightweight and met the minimum requirements for protection, landing, and takeoff of and for the astronauts who rode it down to the Moon.

        I would like to ask you one question, and one only: How do you explain the photograph "Earthrise"? Your answer is one I am waiting for with baited breath.

        March 21, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
  13. J Abrams

    The presence of minerals doesn't necessarily indicate there was once water at a site. Being a mineralologist with over 30 years experience in our field, I have witnessed similarities in a myriad of situations.

    March 19, 2013 at 7:10 am |
    • TWR53


      March 19, 2013 at 7:16 am |
    • D

      I seriously doubt that you have access to all of the data that NASA does.

      March 19, 2013 at 11:00 am |
  14. luvlar

    Seriously, On Mars more water evidence....? Who writes the headlines for these stories? How about, More evidence of water on Mars....

    March 19, 2013 at 5:27 am |
    • mike

      it's a sentence structure technique to bring attention to what you want to emphasize. Try it the next time you're writing something and you'll see there is something to it. Put the subject matter you want highlighted first in a sentence, then rewrite it coming after the subject matter you want highlighted. Like, "the ball was thrown at the boy" vs "the boy had the ball thrown at him".

      March 19, 2013 at 6:22 am |
    • mike

      so in your example, you are highlighting the water evidence while the person that wrote the headline thinks it's more important that they'll be talking about mars in the article.

      March 19, 2013 at 6:24 am |
      • luvlar

        Interesting point. Never looked at it that way before.

        March 19, 2013 at 8:06 am |
  15. dotheflippin'math

    Vic, you think you've made an airtight argument for the existence of a god with a bunch of faulty assumptions, and very limited data. We evolved to exist and prosper thanks to the lucky conditions on our planet, but could not have them without the hundreds of millions of years of evolution. Mars likely once had a much denser atmosphere. Venus has a much denser atmosphere than Earth. Venus also may have once sustained life, but runaway greenhouse gases turned into the poisonous inferno it is now. Until we have determined that life does not exist on any other planet in the universe, we do not know whether we really are that unique, and even if we did prove that our planet was the only one ever to support life, that still wouldn't prove the existence of a god or some kind of divine intervention. If you really believe that our little planet, circling one of the billions of stars in our galaxy, which is one of billions (trillions?) of galaxies in the known universe, is somehow the whole reason for the rest of the cosmos, your brain is severely limited (a result of religious brainwashing). But, if it makes you happy, believe whatever you want. I enjoy science and discovery, and the advancement of knowledge. For some folk, it's just too much.

    March 19, 2013 at 1:50 am |
  16. chip

    Good Job Vic"""

    March 19, 2013 at 12:58 am |
    • Vic

      God bless you Chip. You are and everyone else is at 100% FREE WILL!

      March 19, 2013 at 9:37 am |
  17. mmi16

    Money invested in science and space exploration is money invested in the future of mankind.

    March 19, 2013 at 12:34 am |


    March 18, 2013 at 11:39 pm |
    • silly

      If you really want to fix the problems of the world; it is not that hard. We go to space. We put colonies on the moon and other places. We collect He3 (clean energy) that has been collecting on the surface of the moon for billions of years. Remember, the more people in the world; the more problems in the world. When we are not living on top of each other and resources are not stretched thin. People are a lot nicer. And do not forget the resource wars have started.

      March 19, 2013 at 12:14 am |
    • silly

      "Life's tough ... it's even tougher if you're stupid."
      – John Wayne

      March 19, 2013 at 12:15 am |
      • jim

        And you cant fix stupid.
        Ron White

        March 19, 2013 at 1:40 am |
    • jayman419

      We didn't put two and a half billion dollars into a rocket and shoot it at Mars. In fact not a single penny got sent off our planet.

      Hundreds of scientists were needed to design, build, and test the equipment that Curiosity uses. Miners were paid to pull the metals and fuels from the earth. Specialists were paid to make sure that assembly occurred without any contamination from Earth traveling to Mars. Technicians were paid to weld and bolt everything together. Engineers had to work the math, and I don't mean simple math either, they had to compensate for thousands of variables to actually get the payload from this planet to another planet safely and effectively.

      Each individual person got paid real money for their effort. And they used that money to pay their rent, buy food, secure transportation, repay their education loans, enjoy leisure activities, or whatever else a human needs to do to survive in this present world. And every company that fulfilled their contractual obligations got paid real money for their efforts. They used that money to cover their investments, to repay their stockholders, to fund future research.

      And the data that Curiosity gathers is freely available from many sources, fit to be included into classroom activities at any level. This is how education is supported in the real world.

      March 19, 2013 at 12:15 am |
      • jerseyguy36

        Finally someone who can count, someone who knows where the money goes and is not looking for a personal handout like the first poster. Quote: "WHO FREAKIN' CARES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! INVEST MONEY ON THE PRESENT ON OUR EDUCATION THIS IS OUR ONLY LIFE !!!! WHY BOTHER IN SPACE!!! HANDLE YOUR PRIORTIES (sic) FIRST!!!!"

        Sure spend the money on his Education! Why not the "Education" of all people? Sounds like a professional student to me that can't figure out what you stated so clearly, the Money stays right here not in space.

        Without the space program it is very unlikely that anyone would have a PC or a Cell phone or any of the stuff they take for granted. This Technology was developed for a purpose greater than social media and an expensive typewriter or telephone. How many people here know what WD40 is? How many have it or have used it? Why and for what was it developed? Hint, for the space program by General Dynamics as a special coating to protect the naked Stainless steel that comprised the Fuel and Oxygen tanks of the Atlas Missile. There are millions of other such products that you take for granted even if you do not use them directly, they are used in the material and manufacturing process to make things you do use. Most of the Technology industry research and most University research is supported by the US Military and NASA and it's contractors. That is where the money comes to pay for their salaries and for research equipment and materials. Back to Poster #1 Yes you do need an Education.

        March 19, 2013 at 12:53 am |
    • Miles

      So you are saying spending money on programs which advance the fields of science and technology is a waste of time? Do you think that inspiring children to study STEM based fields is not important? I'm sorry PRIORITY but some of us like to dream beyond the limits of our imagination. How can progress ever be made if we dare not to risk progressing. The only way that the education system in America will be saved is through the funding of S.T.E.M. based programs. What better way to do that than by actually exploring the unknown and pushing science, math, engineering and technology to their limits. Will this not inspire generations of children to develop a passion for education and to follow their dreams as it did myself and millions of others? This is a true PRIORITY!

      March 19, 2013 at 12:17 am |
    • motorfirebox

      Space is a priority because the industry and advancement needed to get into space, and do cool stuff there, improves the nation and the economy. The best way to generate more high-tech jobs is to push the space program, which in turn encourages private industry to invest in space.

      March 19, 2013 at 12:18 am |
    • bspurloc

      obvious ignorance. U dont care but sit there using stuff that exists because of this....
      teenage ignorance

      March 19, 2013 at 12:50 am |
    • TiredOfPaying

      Ummm.... what are you going to 'educate' people with if you don't do the science to learn new things? You going to teach them how to herd goats? The stupidity of your comment is amazing.

      March 19, 2013 at 10:31 am |
    • SentTheWave

      Ironically you are actually a good example of the need for a revamped education system.

      March 19, 2013 at 10:44 am |
  19. No God

    Let us not forget Zoroaster who said, "Yea, but if you fornicate with a female slave on Mars who has stolen from her master, you shall be blessed with life hereafter". That conflicts with Romans doesn't it Vic? Hmmm which god to pick, which god to pic.

    March 18, 2013 at 10:47 pm |
  20. Vic

    !!!Science Reveals God!!!

    As the Mars Rover Curiosity has been trekking on Mars, I have been thinking about how “LIFE” here on Earth is by “DIVINE DESIGN!!!”

    Even if Mars proves it ever supported microbial life form(s), that does not mean it could support or even could have ever supported human-like life form. To sustain a human-like life you need an atmosphere that contains enough oxygen and an ecosystem that recycles it (i.e. soil, plants and water) like on Earth for starters! Earth has a very sophisticated electromagnetic shield that protects us from the solar and cosmic rays! Earth is at the right distance from the sun with the right gravity to support life conditions (habitualness!) Earth is the only known celestial object to have organic material in its regolith!

    Mars, on the other hand, has a very thin atmosphere (less than 1% that of Earth) containing mainly carbon dioxide (what we exhale!) Mars is completely exposed to the sun’s and cosmic radiation without any protection! Mars atmosphere does not allow the formation of water on its surface! Mars regolith is made of mainly iron oxide (rust!) Mars gravity is 62% less than that of Earth!

    That is a very basic and generic recollection of understanding the extremely complex life-sustaining environment here on Earth and in comparison to Mars!

    !!!Anthropic Principles Reveal God!!!

    !!!This Universe is intricately designed and fine-tuned (Anthropic Constants are accurately measured) to enable Life here on Earth!!!

    !!!This Universe and Life in it have “Prima Facie” Revelation about God!!!

    Romans 1:20
    “20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.”

    Colossians 1:16
    “16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him.”

    Hebrews 11:3
    “3 By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.”

    Acts 17:24-28
    “24 The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; 25 nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things; 26 and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, 27 that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; 28 for in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His children.’”

    [Scripture is from the New American Standard Bible (NASB)]

    March 18, 2013 at 10:10 pm |
    • Glorious Thinker

      Do not mix Science with Religion and Gods with Androids.

      March 18, 2013 at 10:43 pm |
    • incredulous45

      If you want to see god in everything, you will see god in everything.

      March 18, 2013 at 10:49 pm |
    • TheBob

      "Sophisticated electromagnetic shield"? Uh.. no. It's AN electromagnetic field. It's no more or less "sophisticated" than any other electromagnetic filed resulting from an electric current flow. We exist in the form that we exist BECAUSE of our environmental conditions and our adaptation thereto. NOT the other way around. This is a deceptively simple concept that is nevertheless beyond the reach of theists, believers and all-around religious wackjobs.

      March 18, 2013 at 11:09 pm |
    • Shane

      Our magnetic field isn't that advanced, its based off of some fairly simple principals really. And having life on earth isn't evidence of a divine creator.

      If we had a true divine creator then the Earth would be more adapted to us than us adapted, and continuing to adapt to it.

      March 18, 2013 at 11:09 pm |
    • xirume

      Another blathering godmonging freak. If god really existed, in its professed power and perfection, it would have never allowed twisted fanatical ignorants like you to exist. Its a fairy tale, man... a fairy tale !!!!!!!!

      March 18, 2013 at 11:57 pm |
    • bspurloc

      Man can choke to death if he talks while eating. Ignorant Design.
      Man will die INSTANTLY if exposed to 95% of the things the Universe offers. Ignorant Design.
      Mans privates are located right next to the dirty hole. Ignorant Design.
      He who gives up seeking the Truth declares Ignorant Design.
      Niel Degrasse Tyson the true and only God. Bow before him or remain a by product of Ignorant Design

      March 19, 2013 at 12:55 am |
      • jerseyguy36

        placing you on earth appears to have been a gross mistake by the designer. OHHH I could go on endlessly with your ignorant post. Like, it takes some elements on earth that are toxic to do certain very important things ( study Chemistry and metallurgy), we are also given the ability to figure out which ones and avoid them or how to properly use them. Now about those Holes, they are clearly identified and any person with a gram of intelligence would see that. We teach children very young how to clean themselves in a way that makes your point mute. Intelligence requires Responsibility you seem to have none, or at least, fail to demonstrate any. so in ignorance "Wipe away".

        March 19, 2013 at 1:19 am |
    • chip

      Even though I still dought the existence of a god"'In my heart I want to believe"' Your post is excellent""""" Good Job"""'

      March 19, 2013 at 12:57 am |
    • jerseyguy36

      Your thinking is extremely narrow. You believe that things must be just as earth is now. Thoughts:
      1 Perhaps mars once did have most if not all of those elements.
      2 Perhaps Mars is still Evolving to that situation but not yet reached it.
      3 Perhaps there could have been forms of life different than our own which adapted/evolved to a different set of conditions just as Humans/Animals in different parts of Earth evolved differently to adapt to local conditions, think Australia, Think about Animals like the Camel that live in the desert vs the animals that live in swamps, then think of the Eskimo that lived in the harsh arctic along with useful animals that not only survive there but could not survive in warmer climates. Look at people and animals that live in the severe tropics of the Upper Amazon.
      4 we must think out of the box and not expect everything to conform to us wherever we are.
      5 Live in a different form may exist now below the surface just like the Fish and undersea animals on earth at great depths and temp. extremes.
      6 True Scientist are not bound by all these self imposed rules and expectations. Many things we once thought to be absolute truth we find, looking again, they are not.

      How will we ever know if we don't open our minds and eyes, ears and our god given brain with it's marvelous capacity to learn all things.

      March 19, 2013 at 1:09 am |
    • The End of Idiocy

      I realize you really want to believe in this god thing because it would justify your narcissistic view of the universe. You need there to be a god because you need to live forever. Well, that's not going to happen. You need to grow the f up and realize that dead is dead. There's no party in the sky for eternity. You live a short brutish life in order to try passing on your DNA and then you are gone. The rest of us have accepted reality, why can't you?

      March 19, 2013 at 1:59 am |
      • damn stupid people

        End of Idiocy eh? Well good sir you an ignorant ninny-hammer and should be beaten as such for your preposterous assumption. You're just as bad as religious fanatics! And by what I mean is, who are you to be declaring such a thing? Did you somehow gain knowledge the rest of the world has not? Who is to say there is or isn't a god? Look around you, look at yourself! Somehow you have survived the odds of life to this day. Your ancestors somehow survived thousands of generations to make you, and here you are blathering on about how there is no way god could exist. Now you tell me how could you know a deity could not exist? My example of why i believe one that you're here right now spouting nonsense at people.

        March 19, 2013 at 11:03 am |
    • Science


      Dover Trial Transcripts............................................. FACTS.

      Below are the complete transcripts from the Dover Trial. Thanks to our friends at the National Center for Science Education for helping us fill in the missing transcripts.

      March 28, 2013 at 10:10 am |
  21. Jules

    Neato. But I thought we already knew this. . . Anyway, given all the equipments they stuffed onto Curiosity how come not one of those instruments is capable of detecting actual life?? Seriously.

    March 18, 2013 at 7:10 pm |
    • Michael


      1. Any life that may have existed would have been microscopic in nature. It took over 3 billion years for multicellular life forms to come into existence on Earth, and Mars would have only have maybe a third of that time.

      2. 3 billion years worth of wind erosion would have destroyed most if not all evidence of microfossils on or near the surface.

      3. The lack of plate tectonics caused by the small planet solidifying (which created the situation of the water being blown away by the solar wind in the first place) would have prevented the burying of fossils which helps create the fossils in the first place, and if it somehow managed to get buried by some other force it would not have come back up to the surface to be discovered. Looking around meteor craters is probably their best bet, but even the meteor would destroy more than it dug up.

      March 18, 2013 at 11:49 pm |
      • The End of Idiocy

        I love it when smart people have the answers to questions. Thanks.

        March 19, 2013 at 2:03 am |
      • Matt

        Yes! Smart people for the win!

        March 19, 2013 at 4:45 pm |


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