Chinese ATV Zhurong, who turns one on Mars next Sunday (15th), has found evidence that the red planet may have been in the water for much longer than previously thought.
A robot that uses its scientific instruments to study the soil of the planet, especially the environment and interior of the collision crater known as Utopia Planitiana. Rover landed on Mars on May 15, 2021, at the same location as NASA’s Viking Lander 2 in 1976.
And that’s where he found hydrated minerals where scientists had long believed it was cold and dry, but Zhurong’s new discovery suggests there might have been an ancient ocean on the red planet.
Previous studies have shown that part of Mars was covered in water about 3 billion years ago. However, the remains found by Rover indicate that the water was in a liquid state during the last geological era on the planet.
Before that, scientists believed that this period, which occurred 700 million years ago, was cold and dry, so any activity involving water in a liquid state would be very limited.
“The most significant and innovative thing is that we found hydrated minerals at a landing site (ATV) in the terrain of young Amazon, and these hydrated minerals are indicators of water activity, such as groundwater,” said Yang, a leading researcher. Liu, a researcher at the Key Space Weather Laboratory of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Center of Excellence in Comparative Planetology.
The Zhurong ATV has already completed its original 90-day (Mars Day) mission, but will continue its journey south from its landing site and gather even more information as it travels through the red planet.
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