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.
The Samsung fiasco took a major toll on the reputation of the firm, which is set to announce fourth-quarter and full-year results on Tuesday.
Qualcomm also sued by US, Korean regulators for apparent demand of royalties for their chip technology
Uber has recently stopped using an outside partner for financing vehicles in favor of an in-house program to better oversee the process.
Research finds 4.5-billion-year-old moon formed few million years after Earth
In Europe, green cars benefit increasingly from subsidies, tax breaks and other perks, while combustion engines face mounting penalties including driving and parking restrictions.
Automation has transformed the productivity of manufacturing since industrial robots first started painting, cutting, welding and assembling in the 1960s.
The Marines's version of the plane, known as the F-35B, is capable of conducting short takeoffs and vertical landings.
An unmanned SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket exploded September 1 in Cape Canaveral, destroying a satellite that Facebook planned to use to beam high-speed internet to Africa.
English, Chinese versions removed following government request
Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of York, England, corroborated the results of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) research paper in 2015.
The South Korean automaker wants to stand out by being ordinary: making a self-driving car for the average consumer.
New $100 billion fund initiated by Japanese bank finds supporters in Foxconn, Saudi Arabia and Oracle
Turmaks establishes a facility to produce silicopolymer recycling technology in the Netherlands
The rocket is set to blast off from the southern spaceport of Sriharikota in February carrying three Indian satellites and 100 foreign ones including from the US, France and Germany, the Press Trust of India said.
A new design takes on Tesla surpassing key benchmarks