NASA Mars Rover Curiosity finds water in first sample of planet surface

The first scoop of soil analyzed by the analytical suite in the belly of NASA’s Curiosity rover reveals that fine materials on the surface of the planet contain several percent water by weight. The results were published today in Science as one article in a five-paper special section on the Curiosity mission.  RPI Dean of Science Laurie Leshin is the study’s lead author. “One of the most exciting results from this very first solid sample ingested by Curiosity is the high percentage of water in the soil,” said Leshin. “About 2% of the soil on the surface of Mars is made up of water, which is a great resource, and interesting scientifically.” The sample also released significant carbon dioxide, oxygen, and sulfur compounds when heated. Read more…

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