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Please begin with an informative title:

Those aren't my words. They are from NASA Scientist Hero Team member Joel
Hurowitz. What are we talking about? It's a BFD. Curiosity has proven the sustained existence, on ancient Mars, of fresh, liquid watery habitat in a large area of Gale Crater, that once had all the conditions and chemical ingredients to sustain life as we know it. Dr. Hurowitz explains in this NASA video.

I've placed an unwarrantied, as is, hand made transcript of Dr. Hurowitz's remarks out in the tall grass.

Here are some of the money quotes:  

"What the Curiosity team has found is incredibly exciting."

"data set that tells us that Gale Crater and perhaps all of Mars contained habitable environments"

"an incredible success for the Curiosity mission to Gale"

That is very bold talk from a scientist, but the evidence certainly seems very compelling. This is brand new, and very intriguing information about Mars.


You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

Hi. I'm Joel Hurowitz, a scientist with Curiosity's Surface Sampling System team and this is your Curiosity Rover Report.  

The Curiosity Science Team has released its initial findings from its first ever drilled sample on Mars. This sample was collected from the John Klein drill site which is located about five hundred meters East of where we landed about seven months ago.

Curiosity obtained her first drill sample and passed that sample on to our on board analytical instruments, called CheMin and SAM. These powerful instruments tell us about what minerals are present in these rocks and whether they contain the ingredients necessary to sustain life as we know it.

What the Curiosity team has found is incredibly exciting. When we combine what we've learned from our remote sensing and contact science instruments, with the data that's coming in from CheMin and SAM, we et get a picture of an ancient, watery environment, which would have been habitable had life been present in it.

As an example, the information that we're getting from the CheMin instrument tells us that the minerals that are present in the lake bed sedimentary rock at John Klein are very different from just about anything we've analyzed before on Mars  and they tell us that the John Klein rock was deposited in a fresh water environment. This is an important contrast with other sedimentary environments that we've visited on Mars, like the Meridiani Planum site where the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity has been operating since 2004. At that site, sedimentary rocks records evidence of an environment that was only wet on a very intermittent basis and, when it was, the waters that were there were highly acidic,  very salty and not favorable for the survival of organic compounds. This is in direct contrast to  the fresh water environment we're seeing here at the John Klein site.

The SAM instrument is telling us that these rocks contained all of the elements necessary for a habitable environment. We found carbon, sulfur, and oxygen, all present in a variety of states that life could have taken advantage of.

All in all, these few tablespoons of powder from a Martian rock have provided the Curiosity Scoience Team with an exciting  new data set that tells us that Gale Crater and perhaps all of Mars contained habitable environments. This is an incredible success for the Curiosity mission to Gale and the science team is looking forward to digging deeper into Mar's ancient watery past in the weeks, months and years ahead.

This has been your Curiosity Rover Report.  Check back for more updates.

Extended (Optional)

Originally posted to Kossacks on Mars on Wed Apr 10, 2013 at 06:40 PM PDT.

Also republished by Astro Kos and SciTech.

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