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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2004 > Mar > Mar 2

NASA To Release Significant Mars Findings

From: Frank Warren <frank-warren.nul>
Date: Tue, 02 Mar 2004 08:07:34 -0800
Fwd Date: Tue, 02 Mar 2004 11:52:19 -0500
Subject: NASA To Release Significant Mars Findings 

Source: The Kansas City Star


03- 02-04

NASA to Release Significant Mars Findings

John Antczak

Associated Press

LOS ANGELES - The Opportunity rover has apparently found
something on Mars that's got scientist buzzing back on Earth.

NASA plans to announce Tuesday "significant findings" involving
the six-wheeled rover that has been searching the dusty martian
landscape since January for any history of water.

"The primary mission of the rovers really dealt with the history
of water on Mars and we'll be reporting new findings that bear
on that," NASA spokesman Don Savage said Monday from Washington,
D.C. "I can't go into any detail without telling you what it

Since NASA launched the twin robot geologists last summer,
scientists hoped the rovers would find minerals that could
reveal whether the planet ever was wet enough to support life.

Other than a statement characterizing the findings as
"significant," the space agency revealed no details in advance.
However, participants in the twin rover mission managed by the
Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., said last week
that scientists were excited by data that Opportunity was
sending back to Earth.

Opportunity has been studying an outcropping of layered rock
close to its landing site in a small crater on an area of Mars
called Meridiani Planum. A piece dubbed "El Capitan" has
generated much of the latest interest.

Rob Manning, a mission manager, said a week ago that he couldn't
comment on the science team's speculation about the findings but
that there was "probably as much enthusiasm as we've ever had by
the science team and a lot of intense discussions over these
last several days."

Opportunity, as well as its twin Spirit, has been using
microscopic photography, rock abrasion tools that grind off
surface layers and spectrometers to examine the martian

While Opportunity has stayed close to its landing site to
explore the outcropping, Spirit has been traveling on the other
side of the planet, studying rocks and soil en route to a big
crater named "Bonneville" that scientists hope will give the
rover a view of geology well below the surface.

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