Over ten years ago, the first Rover was put on the surface of Mars to learn a variety of things about the “Red Planet.” One such discovery was that water may have existed at one time on Mars, but is now long gone.
New evidence has been found by two Mars Rovers, Curiosity and Opportunity, that suggest that Mars was once a water-rich planet. This information is highly important not just to understand more about Mars, but understand other planets in our solar system including our own. Read on for a look at why the Rover find is so important, and what is next for the Rover fleet.
Why is this information important?
The Mars Rovers have identified that Mars soil is rich in minerals that require water to grow and develop. This is important information because it tells us how rich the planet could have been with life. Water is required to sustain life, and if there are minerals and deposits in the Mars dirt that require water to grow, we can ascertain that Mars was once plentiful with waters. You won’t find any rivers or streams there now. Scientists believe Mars dried up around 5 million years ago. This is important to us because if life once existed on Mars, it potentially could again. In addition, could we possibly keep Earth from facing the same fate one day?
Is Earth the new Mars?
With melting polar ice caps and over seventy percent water to earth ratio, it doesn’t seem likely that Earth would face the same scenario that Mars seems to have faced. Here is what is significant, though. With signs of water on Mars, the chance that life existed there at one time is good – and if life did exist there, we need to learn more about the type of life, whether it be flora, fauna, people or aliens. By doing so, we can apply our knowledge to other planets and solar systems that we encounter.
What’s Next for the Rovers?
The Rovers will continue searching for life on Mars, which includes their search for signs of water. The ancient planet holds clues for us to discover what was one there. The barren wasteland that exists now holds many secrets, and learning them will not only help us understand our planet better, but other planets in our solar system as well.