NASA News, Features And Highlights: NASA Rovers Discover Two Livable Places In Mars

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By Christine Lazaro | January 26, 2014 11:41 PM EST

Curiosity and Opportunity, two of the most popular NASA rovers, continue to share to the world essential details they regularly discover about the Red Planet. They claimed they have discovered two livable places in Mars.

REUTERS/Joe Skipper
An Atlas 5 United Launch Alliance rocket lifts off from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station carrying NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft in Cape Canaveral, Florida November 18, 2013.

New insights published in the Science journal described the discoveries of the rovers about the environments where several microorganisms may have once lived. John Grotzinger, the lead scientist for the Curiosity mission, wrote in the introduction of the studies that the results showed early Mars was habitable but it does not necessarily mean the planet could be lived in.

CNN reported it was last year when the U.S. space agency shared that Mars was once livable according to the observations of the Curiosity Rover. This statement was made stronger with the new data taken from the Opportunity rover's perspective.

NASA's Opportunity Rover can find clay minerals which build up in the water or in rock within the rim of the Endeavour Crater. When it was directed to a part of the crater rim where the clays can be found, rock evidence was unraveled which existed way before the crater was formed, which was about 3.7 billion years ago.

Meanhile, Curiosity Rover landed on Gale Crater and made the scientists recognize a place called Yellowknife Bay, which was believed to be livable during the ancient times.

Future For NASA's Rovers

The Curiosity is led to Mt. Sharp to explore further the history of Mars through the exploration of the chemical composition of the rocks per layer while there was an additional Curiosity-sized rover planned for launch by 2020. Opportunity rover will continue on with the Endeavour Crater but its twin rover called Spirit will stay put.

On another NASA news, the United Launch Alliance was all prepped up to launch a potent Atlas 5 rocket. Its goal was to help boost the brand new NASA Tracking and Data Relay Satellite right into orbit, CBS News reported.

NASA also celebrates the 10th year of the Mars Rover Opportunity mission since Jan. 24, 2004.


(Video Credit: YouTube/The Mars Underground)

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(Photo: REUTERS/Joe Skipper / )
An Atlas 5 United Launch Alliance rocket lifts off from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station carrying NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft in Cape Canaveral, Florida November 18, 2013.
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