Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Phoenix Mars Lander Found Liquid Water, Some Scientists Think

During its more than five-month stint on Mars last year, NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander found evidence that liquid water existed at the spacecraft's landing site, some Phoenix team members say.
Water is key to all forms of life as we know it and the discovery of liquid water would suggest a greater opportunity for biology on the red planet.
The new but controversial conclusion comes from observations of a set of "little globules" attached to struts on the lander's legs that were photographed by Phoenix's robotic arm camera over the course of the mission, as first reported at Spaceflight Now.
These globs were seen to apparently move and grow between snapshots, and 22 members of the Phoenix team, including principal investigator Peter Smith of the University of Arizona in Tucson, think that this behavior combined with other Phoenix findings indicates that these blobs might have been liquid water that was splashed up onto the spacecraft as it landed.


No comments: