Curiosity Finds Evidence For a Habitable Ancient Mars

— National Geographic

"We have found a habitable environment," said John Grotzinger, project scientist for the Curiosity mission. "The water that was here was so benign and supportive of life that if a human had been on the planet back then, they could drink it."

Their finding is based in part on the discovery of both clays and sulfate minerals in the powered sample drilled out of the rock named after deceased mission project manager John Klein. Both materials only form in water, and only in water that is low in potentially life-killing acids.

At a press conference at NASA headquarters in Washington D.C., the team also announced that simple organics had been detected by the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument.

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