NASA’s Mars Rover ‘Curiosity’, that is experimenting on the Martian Surface since 2004, has encountered a new clue for the habitable groundwater on Mars. It is a first-of-its-kind discovery under which, NASA’s Curiosity Rover has discovered ‘element Boron’ on the Martian Surface, which has indicated a strong potential for long-standing inhabitable groundwater in the ancient era.
To summon up, Boron is a metalloid chemical component with properties transitional linking carbon and aluminium. It is an elemental structure that dissolved the water in ancient Earth and the finding of the material on Mars is indicating towards the existence of groundwater in prehistoric days of the red planet.
Throughout the examination process, Curiosity, for the first time, has identified Boron on the surface of Mars, following which the belief of habitability groundwater on Mars has strengthened. The Boron was discovered by the Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) tool implemented on NASA’s Curiosity rover in calcium sulphate mineral veins in Gale Crater.
On this matter, Dr. Patrick Gasda, a researcher at Los Alamos National Laboratory said, “Earlier, no such operations on Mars has detected boron on the planet. The ChemCam tool has successfully identified the fundamental quantitative compositions of targets in Gale Crater; Curiosity discovered the Boron by employing the laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy.”
While explaining the discovery, Dr. Patrick said, “While examining the data collected by Curiosity, be found the existence of Boron on Mars. We systematically analyzed the boron lines in 23 calcium sulphate veins among which, 3 in Yellowknife Bay and 20 in the Murray lacustrine mudstone and the Stimson eolian sandstone units since sol 727. All these experiments took place after Curiosity landed on the ground of Mt. Sharp, which is a 5 km sedimentary hill located in the middle of Gale Crater.”
He further added that “If the boron spotted on the Red Planet proved to be parallel to the boron of Earth, the possibility of groundwater of ancient Mars will be confirmed. The underground of earliest Mars has formed these veins at the temperature of 32-140 degrees Fahrenheit (0-60 degrees Celsius) and neutral-to-alkaline pH.”
The latest discovery is expected to give more certain clues about the habitability of water in Mars. The reports of the finding were discussed in the American Geophysical Union conference, held in San Francisco.