Curiosity Finds Tantalizing Mineral Clues for Mars Habitability

November 5, 2014 11:25 PM

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For the first time in its continuing mission to better understand the past habitability of the Red Planet, NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity has detected a mineral drilled out of a Martian rock that matches orbital data from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO).

Hematite, an iron-oxide mineral, was detected by the MRO’s CRISM (Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars) instrument in 2010 before Curiosity’s 2012 landing site was selected. Inside Gale Crater, where mission scientists eventually decided to land Curiosity, hematite was detected, one ...

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