Mars Had The Right Stuff For Life, Scientists Find - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mars Had The Right Stuff For Life, Scientists Find

Posted: Updated:

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) - Seven months after NASA's rover Curiosity landed on Mars to assess if the planet most like Earth had the ingredients for life, scientists have their answer: Yes.

Analysis of a powder drilled from an ancient and once water-soaked rock at the rover's Gale Crater landing site show clays, sulfates and other minerals that are all key to life, the scientists told a news conference at NASA's headquarters on Tuesday.

The water that once flowed through the area, known as Yellowknife Bay, was likely drinkable, said Curiosity's lead scientist John Grotzinger, who is with the California Institute of Technology.

The analysis stopped short of a confirmation of organics, which are necessary for Earth-like life. But with 17 more months left in the rover's primary mission, scientists said they expect to hone in on that question.

The scientists, who spoke at the U.S. space agency's headquarters in Washington, also talked on a conference call with reporters based elsewhere.

While the $2.5 billion Curiosity mission is not a life-detection exploration, it is intended to find places where organics, if they exist, could have been preserved.

The rover touched down inside Gale Crater on August 6 to begin the two-year mission.

(Editing by Tom Brown and Christopher Wilson)

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • PHOTOS: Priest Lake lots auctioned off

    PHOTOS: Priest Lake lots auctioned off

    Thursday, August 28 2014 8:46 PM EDT2014-08-29 00:46:58 GMT
    PRIEST LAKE, Idaho - 61 cottages sites on Priest Lake were auctioned off in Coeur d'Alene on Thursday. >>
    PRIEST LAKE, Idaho - 61 cottages sites on Priest Lake were auctioned off in Coeur d'Alene on Thursday. For years, those already living on the sites leased the land from the State of Idaho, but the State was looking to sell. Residents already living on the sites showed up on Thursday to buy them back, and many were successful. 


    >>
  • THROWBACK THURSDAY: Johnny Depp in Spokane for 'Benny and Joon'

    THROWBACK THURSDAY: Johnny Depp in Spokane for 'Benny and Joon'

    Thursday, August 28 2014 4:06 PM EDT2014-08-28 20:06:32 GMT
    KHQ.COM - In the late 80's and early 90's Hollywood came to the Spokane area in a big way. One of the most well known films that was shot in the Lilac city was Benny and Joon. The 1992 movie included Aidan Quinn, Mary Stuart Masterson and Johnny Depp. KHQ was on set for a scene of the movie.
    >>
    KHQ.COM - In the late 80's and early 90's Hollywood came to the Spokane area in a big way. One of the most well known films that was shot in the Lilac city was Benny and Joon. The 1992 movie included Aidan Quinn, Mary Stuart Masterson and Johnny Depp. KHQ was on set for a scene of the movie.
    >>
  • Priest Lake Auction: Saying goodbye to home

    Priest Lake Auction: Saying goodbye to home

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 10:50 PM EDT2014-08-28 02:50:23 GMT
    PRIEST LAKE, Idaho - After years of obstacles for 61 Priest Lake lot lessees, the end comes on Thursday, August 28th. >>
    PRIEST LAKE, Idaho - After years of obstacles for 61 Priest Lake lot lessees, the end comes on Thursday, August 28th. People who have been leasing land from the state, some more than 40 years, will find out if they get to keep their property in an auction.Back in 2010, the State of Idaho decided to divest more than 300 lake lots on Priest Lake.
    >>
  • National NewsMore>>

  • UPDATE: Joan Rivers 'Resting Comfortably' at Mount Sinai in New York

    UPDATE: Joan Rivers 'Resting Comfortably' at Mount Sinai in New York

    Friday, August 29 2014 12:45 AM EDT2014-08-29 04:45:02 GMT
    NEW YORK (AP) - Comedian Joan Rivers is in a New York City hospital, according to police and hospital officials who say she was rushed there from a doctor's office after going into cardiac arrest.Rivers' daughter later issued a statement about her mother's condition.>>
    NEW YORK (AP) - Comedian Joan Rivers is in a New York City hospital, according to police and hospital officials who say she was rushed there from a doctor's office after going into cardiac arrest.Rivers' daughter later issued a statement about her mother's condition.
    >>
  • VA: No proof delays in veteran care caused hospital deaths

    VA: No proof delays in veteran care caused hospital deaths

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 9:11 PM EDT2014-08-27 01:11:37 GMT
    KHQ.COM- The Department of Veterans Affairs says there's no proof that delays in care caused any deaths at the VA hospital in Phoenix, Ariz.Revelations that as many as 40 veterans died while awaiting care rocked the agency this past spring, bringing to light scheduling problems and allegations of misconduct at other hospitals as well.NBC News obtained a draft report from the VA's Office of Inspector General Tuesday. The draft report says while investigators found substantial delays in care an...>>
    KHQ.COM- The Department of Veterans Affairs says there's no proof that delays in care caused any deaths at the VA hospital in Phoenix, Ariz.Revelations that as many as 40 veterans died while awaiting care rocked the agency this past spring, bringing to light scheduling problems and allegations of misconduct at other hospitals as well.NBC News obtained a draft report from the VA's Office of Inspector General Tuesday. The draft report says while investigators found substantial delays in care an...>>
  • UPDATE: Sergeant who shot herself at Fort Lee dies

    UPDATE: Sergeant who shot herself at Fort Lee dies

    Monday, August 25 2014 6:58 PM EDT2014-08-25 22:58:27 GMT
    Police officer patrols the entrance of Fort Lee in VirginiaPolice officer patrols the entrance of Fort Lee in Virginia
    FORT LEE, Va. (AP) - A commanding general at a Virginia Army base says an enraged soldier with a gun barricaded herself in an office, then shot herself in the head as officials tried to negotiate with her.>>
    FORT LEE, Va. (AP) - A commanding general at a Virginia Army base says an enraged soldier with a gun barricaded herself in an office, then shot herself in the head as officials tried to negotiate with her. Maj. Gen. Stephen R. Lyons says the soldier went on a rampage, throwing objects. >>