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Friday, September 27, 2013

'Sipping' Martian soil

Life loves water...    (Public Domain)
Those who believe that Earth does not have the monopoly on life may be one step closer to having their dreams realized.

The Indo Asian News Service recently reported that researchers from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute  in Troy, New York analyzed samples of "dust, dirt and finely grained soil" that were
collected by the Mars rover Curiosity "from a sandy patch known as 'Rocknest.'" 

What they found is that surface Martian soil contains approximately 2% water.  Because they also found that this "global layer" of
Martian surface soil "has been mixed and distributed by frequent dust storms," the sample that was analyzed might be reflective of "typical Martian crust."

What this could very well mean is that humans on Mars could 'sip' this soil by heating it in order to obtain water.  RPI's Dean of Science, Laurie Leshin, stated:  We now know there should be abundant, easily accessible water on Mars.   

When heated, the sample also released significant amounts of "carbon dioxide, oxygen, and sulfur compounds…" 

Copyright September 27, 2013 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

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