World Bulletin / News Desk
NASA's Mars rover, Curiosity, dispatched to learn if the most Earth-like planet in the solar system was suitable for microbial life, has found clear evidence its landing site was once awash in water, a key ingredient for life, scientists said Thursday.
Curiosity, a roving chemistry laboratory the size of a small car, touched down on Aug. 6 inside a giant impact basin near the planet's equator. The primary target for the two-year mission is a three-mile (five-km) -high mound of layered rock rising from the floor of Gale Crater.
Scientists suspect the mound, known as Mount Sharp, is the remains of sediment that once completely filled the crater. Analysis of a slab of rock located between the crater's north rim and the base of Mount Sharp indicate a fast-moving stream of water once flowed there.
Images taken by Curiosity and released on Thursday show rounded stones cemented into the rock, which rises like a piece of jack-hammered sidewalk from the planet's surface.
The stones inside the rock are too big to have been moved by wind, Curiosity scientist Rebecca Williams, with the Planetary Science Institute in Tucson, Arizona, told reporters on a conference call.
"The consensus of the science team is that these are water-transported gravel in a vigorous stream," she said.
The rock is believed to be from the floor of an ancient stream which was once between ankle- and knee-deep.
The analysis is based on telephoto images taken by the rover, which is en route to a patch of land named Glenelg where three different types of rock intersect.
Scientists have not yet decided if the slab of rock warrants a chemical analysis, or if there are better targets for Curiosity to look for the building blocks of life and the minerals to preserve it.
"The question about habitability goes beyond the simple observation of water on Mars," said lead scientist John Grotzinger at the California Institute of Technology.
"Certainly flowing water is a place where microorganisms could have lived. This particular kind of rock may or may not be a good place to preserve those components that we associate with a habitable environment," he said.
The $2.5 billion Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity mission is NASA's first astrobiology mission since the 1970s-era Viking probes.
Researchers havfe said that the flaw leaves data stored by apps vulnerable with almost every category of app considered vulnerable
SpaceX revealed Monday that it is building a test track for the Hyperloop, a concept for ultra-fast ground transport the company’s CEO, Elon Musk, unveiled.
Biologists have created chicken embryos with dinosaur-like faces by tinkering with the molecules that build the birds' beaks.
Product available for pre-order in nine countries but devices won’t ship for weeks.
Nobel Prize-winning scientists' discovery can be manufactured cheaper thanks to Nanografi process.
Most industry experts expect the first product of 5G technology in the run-up to the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.
The slowdown in the rate of rising temperatures, from faster gains in the 1980s and 1990s, has puzzled scientists because heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions
The discovery challenges currently held theories that black holes and their host galaxies grew in relative lockstep over the eons.
Australian researchers are developing the new way to have a final product for Boeing Co, Airbus Group NV, very quickly than now. 3D printing can cut production times for components from three months to just six days.
Bogachev is charged in the United States with running a computer attack network called GameOver Zeus that allegedly stole more than $100 million from online bank accounts.
The account started sharing videos and photos of the militant group a few days ago
U.S., UK spies hacked SIM card maker Gemalto's system, Intercept says, giving spies ability to monitor calls on billions of phones
The next time an earthquake hits the Pacific Northwest, a handful of computers in offices across the region will have access to a software that will send out an alarm, alerting people before the earthquake strikes.
Researchers in Britain have discovered that limpet teeth exhibit a strength that is potentially higher than spider silk.
Epigenetic differences are one reason identical twins, who have identical DNA, do not always develop the same genetic diseases, including cancer.