Diverse minerals found in Mars

#Mars #NASA #Curiosity #space #life #planet #minerals

Curiosity rover, the NASA’s rover on Mars, has found a variety of minerals on the red planet. These layers of rocks are predicted to have been deposited about 3.5 billion years ago, coinciding with a time on Earth when life was beginning to take hold. In fact, early Mars could have been very similar to early Earth.

Four samples were drilled near the base of Mount Sharp:

Telegraph Peak sample had minerals similar to quartz.

Buckskin sample had tridymite, which is rather strange considering that the mineral is found from partial melting of a planet’s crust (such as Earth’s crust), and Mars is assumed to never have had tectonic plates

Confidence Hills and Mojave 2 sample had clay minerals, generally formed in the presence of liquid water with a near-neutral pH.

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There were several other minerals found. So, since Mars had a habitable environment in the starting, could it be that there was life on Mars and was later wiped out? or rather life managed to reach Earth from Mars?

Bricks made on Mars

#Mars #bricks #colonizing #MartianSoil #NASA #curiosity #space #newtech

Scientists have manufactured tiny bricks, about 0.1 inch thick and disc-shaped, using artificial Martian soil. The technique only requires the red Martian soil to be compressed in a precise way. There are no additives required or no baking to be done.

NASA’s Curiosity rover collected samples of Martian dust and sand for the first time in 2012, analyzing its composition in a laboratory inside the mobile robot.

These bricks can be used by people during manned mission, and will be effective in the colonization of Mars. Since the soils just needs to be compressed, there will be no need of building nuclear plants to fire bricks, or hauling large quantities of polymer from Earth.

The main reason is due to the presence of Iron oxide in the Martian soil, which is thought to be the ‘cementing agent’ that makes the soil so malleable. The bricks thus formed can be considered stronger than steel of the same dimensions.

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Amazing. Now all that is left is someone working on Space suits.