A NASA spacecraft circling Mars has found evidence of water on the Red Planet’s surface — liquid that flowed in our lifetime, not in some dim and more verdant past.
New data reveal that Earth’s close neighbor boasts multiple seeps of salt-laden water that were wet, or at least damp, as recently as last year. The water may be many times saltier than Earth’s ocean, but there could be enough to provide a bonanza for humans exploring the surface.
“Mars is not the dry, arid planet we thought of in the past,” NASA planetary science chief Jim Green said Monday. “Under certain circumstances, liquid water has been found on Mars.”
Until now, “we thought of the current Mars as a barren, extremely dry and cold desert,” SETI Institute planetary scientist Janice Bishop, who did not take part in the research, said via email. “What is new and exciting here is that this provides evidence for liquid water on Mars in the current environment.”