Curiosity Finds “Surprising” Amounts Of Water, Perchlorate On Mars

The Christian Science Monitor (9/27, Spotts, 540K) reports on five new papers about what the Curiosity rover found during its first 100 days on Mars. It found that liquid water was present in Gale Crater, answering the “overarching question” of whether Mars was habitable at one period in time. The rover also discovered a type of rock that has “never been seen before on Mars.” However, the rover did discover perchlorate salts that would destroy the organic compounds researchers hoped to find in the soil. Daniel Galvin of the Goddard Space Flight Center said, “The presence of perchlorates isn’t good news for some of the techniques we’re currently using with Curiosity. … This may change the way we search for organics in the future on Mars.” The Los Angeles Times (9/27, Khan, 3.07M) reports Curiosity project scientist John Grotzinger said the finds are “exciting” because the rover is showing just how diverse Mars’ geology can be.