Chinese Scientists published Wednesday, findings from a Chinese rover mission to Mars, suggesting evidence that the planet had a more active water cycle tens of millions of years ago than scientists expected.
The lead researcher at the National Space Science Center (NSSC) under the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) Yang Liu said that the Chinese Zhurong rover has found evidence of water at the landing site.
“The most significant and novel thing is that we found hydrated minerals at the landing site which stands on the young Amazonian terrain, and these hydrated minerals are (indicators) for the water activities such as (groundwater) activities,” Yang said.
The findings also suggest the presence of “considerable stores” of water in the hydrated minerals or in-ground ice, which human explorers could use during missions to Mars.
“One of the most important resources for human explorers is water. Hydrated minerals, which contain structural water, and ground ice can be used as the important water resource on Mars,” Yang added.
Yang also said that Martian missions have increasing evidence that Mars had gone through cycles of wet and warm, and dry and cold, instead of having one enduring, dramatic climate shift.
On May 15, 2021, Zhurong landed in a large plain in the northern hemisphere of Mars called Utopia Planitia, with the primary mission for three months to search for signs of ancient life.
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