ExoMars interplanetary mission project envisions two Russian-European missions to Mars in 2016 and in 2018. Source: ESA
The academic team of the Curiosity Martian rover has confirmed that Mars used to have a lake that was theoretically habitable, laboratory head of the Russian Space Research Institute Maxim Litvak told Interfax-AVN on Oct. 8.
"Judging by research of the sediment we are now observing where huge amounts of water were once flowing through the crater, we can assume there was a lake on that place several billion years ago. It existed long enough to form sediment. As there was a lake, there most probably were conditions for life. Formally, every condition for the origin and sustainability of life was available at that moment," Litvak said.
The Curiosity academic team uniting many geologists and biochemists, about 400 people in all, has concluded that the lake existed with a high degree of probability. But there are doubts as to how long still water stayed there.
"The question is whether it was a hundred million years or a hundred thousand years. These are two different things. The longer the lake stayed the longer the specific microclimate was forming in that territory. But it seems that the existence of the lake is proven and this is one of the Martian rover's achievements. Because all these searches for life conditions are immediately linked to it," Litvak said.
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