Water On Mars. Is life next?

When was water found on Mars? When was water discovered on Mars?

In August 2011 scientists found potential evidence of flowing water on the surface of Mars. Not only that but there is evidence that water was abundant on the surface but also underground on Mars and throughout its early history. The implications of water on Mars means it is more probable now that there is potential life on Mars.

For the next four years scientists worked on the evidence and confirmed the discovery.

Just this week NASA announced that they have confirmed that there is seasonal flowing and salty water on Mars. This confirmation is a huge leap forward in determining if there is in fact life on Mars beyond speculation based on all the piling evidence.

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While this news may not be all that major because the evidence was discovered in 2011, it is now confirmed to be true. This announcement of the presence of liquid water on Mars has huge implications for human life.
There is more potential now than ever with the confirmation of water on Mars that it once supported or could support life. The fact that the water is salty means that it would not freeze like fresh water and kill off any life in the winter months.

Further tests need to be explored now to determine just how cold and salty the water truly is. This is important in determining if the water on Mars will become a resource for humans in the future. Maybe humans will be drinking the water from Mars in the coming decades.

Sending humans to Mars is more a reality now than it ever was before. With the implications of water on Mars, the humans will be able to purify the salty water to survive on Mars, possibly even use it to grow plants in greenhouses.

Implications Of Water On Mars.

What does water on Mars mean? Why is finding water on Mars important?

Scientists concluded that the previously flowing water on Mars must have been briny water, even though it could not be proved at the time. Life on Earth has been found in the most extreme conditions and the possibility of salty water on Mars indicates that there could still be life in the form of halophilic (salt-loving) microbes on Mars.

Salt in water lowers the freezing point of the water, and it possible that the saltiness of the Earth’s oceans would be sufficient to exist on Mars above freezing in Mar’s summer.

This suggests that the liquid, salty water could sustain life on Mars that could still exist today. The finding of surface flowing water also coincides with the findings of underground salty lakes on Mars.

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It is already known that there are halophilic microbes surviving in extreme conditions on Earth, so it is possible that Earth’s neighbour has the same or similar microbes inhabiting the planet. These implications of water on Mars indicate that there is a huge possibility of living organisms on Mars.

Around 3 billion years ago, Mars was covered in water and had an extensive atmosphere. There was a primitive ocean that was larger than that of Earth’s ocean. At this time, life on Earth was just starting and conditions on Mars were very similar to those of Earth at the time.

Even though conditions were very favorable for life to exist at the time, something happened on Mars indicating a massive climate change that completely altered the surface and atmosphere.

Why is there water on Mars?

According to Wikipedia, about 3.8 billion years ago, Mars may have had a denser atmosphere and higher surface temperatures, allowing vast amounts of liquid water on the surface,possibly including a large ocean that may have covered one-third of the planet. Water has also apparently flowed across the surface for short periods at various intervals more recently in Mars’ history.

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On December 9, 2013, NASA reported that, based on evidence from the Curiosity rover studying Aeolis Palus, Gale Crater contained an ancient freshwater lake which could have been a hospitable environment for microbial life.

The water on Mars not is what is left over from billions of years. The questions we need to be asking are What happened to water on Mars?

Where did water on Mars go?

University of Iowa scientist Jasper Halekas is the principal investigator on a MAVEN instrument called the Solar Wind Ion Analyzer. It catches the solar wind as it jets past Mars, measuring its direction, speed, and composition.

The MAVEN team will try to understand how solar wind ions could have caused the water to escape some four billion years ago.

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“It turns out to be a hard thing to do, because Mars hasn’t been the same over all its history,” says Halekas, associate professor in physics and astronomy who joined the UI this year from the University of California-Berkeley. “So we not only have to measure what’s escaping to space today, but we also have to figure out how to extrapolate that back in time – and that’s the really hard thing.”

Methane On Mars.

Not only is there water on Mars but there is also methane on Mars. Methane is the most basic gas that can sustain life. In December 2014, the Curiosity rover detected the gas on Mars. Methane has also been detected in meteors that have come from Mars.

The majority of atmospheric methane on Earth is a result of the breakdown of organic matter. Finding methane on Mars indicates a strong possibility that life is supported on Mars. Living organisms produce a large amount of methane gas to live.

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Coupled with the fact the implications of water on Mars, this evidence is a strong suggestion that there is in fact life on Mars and that humans would be able to survive were they to go there.

These two discoveries and confirmation in the past year indicate that NASA is getting closer to making more new discoveries on Mars. The program to send humans to Mars in the 2030s is getting closer to becoming a reality as NASA successfully launched the Orion spacecraft in August. Orion was developed and is being tested in order to take the selected humans to Mars.

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