Part of the mission that NASA has been conducting for the past several years with their new Curiosity Rover is to examine and study the surface of Mars. The Curiosity Rover on Mars as seen here on NASA’s website has recently discovered mineral veins in the area known as the “Garden City”, which is part of Mars’ Gale Crater.
Curiosity was sent up to Mars in 2012 and has since conducted numerous explorations and investigations of the fluid movement on Mars. Its primary mission is to see if Mars is or ever was suitable to sustain life. This most recent finding shows that fluid movement. The mineral veins that were found have a very unique appearance compared to other findings. In previous mineral deposits that have been discovered, there has mostly only been calcium sulphate. With these new mineral veins, there are multiple types of deposits that have yet to be completely identified.
The new mineral veins show both bright and dark deposits, which also help space scientists when tracking fluid movement across the red planet. The hope is that as scientists find out more about what these minerals are and how they were made, that Mars will begin to reveal more secrets as to its previous life where water abounded.
Garden City on Mars
“Garden City” is part of the area where the new mineral deposits were found. The actual deposits were found on the top of a mountain known as Mount Sharp. Another area that the Curiosity Rover on Mars has taken a lot of time to explore includes the Pahrump Hills and is found at the center of Mars’ Gale Crater. This area revealed to be a great site for drilling and Curiosity has been able to gather several samples. The samples from Pahrump Hills and Garden City vary greatly in their composition and it will be very interesting to see exactly what both are made of.
The Pahrump Hills actually have three main hills that are under current investigation. Each of these also has a very different mineral composition. The first section is known as “Confidence Hills”, where clay and hematite both abound; the second section is “Mojave”, where jarosite has formed due to the acidic conditions; the third is “Telegraph Peak”, where aluminum and magnesium are both found in large amounts.
How Curiosity Rover on Mars helps NASA
The Curiosity Rover on Mars as seen on Space.com is well equipped for the job assigned to it and has been extremely helpful in assisting NASA with understanding all of the different aspects of the red planet, from its environment, to its composition and what kind of atmosphere it has.
There are all kinds of different tools that Curiosity is equipped with, such as an Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer. This allows it to examine and drill into the planet’s surface. It is also equipped with cameras to take pictures and recordings of all of its surroundings.
Currently, the Curiosity Rover on Mars seems to be doing very well and is helping to obtain a large amount of information for NASA. The hope is that with these new mineral samples, space scientists will begin to understand what Mars was like in the past and how it became the planet that it is today.