Data from NASA’s Mars InSight Lander reveals startling findings about the possibility of life on the Red Planet


A new study has limited the chances of humans finding life on Mars. According to the study, conducted by researchers at the University of California, San Diego, Mars’ subsoil has little to no evidence of water. The surprising results were obtained after studying seismic data from NASA’s Mars InSight mission. The Mars InSight lander is located on Elysium Planitia, a flat, smooth surface near the Martian equator. The InSight lander studies the subsoil of the red planet by digging about 300 meters below the landing site.

Seismic data revealed that there is negligible evidence of water. “We find that the crust of Mars is weak and porous. The sediments are not well cemented. And there is little to no ice filling the pores,” study co-author Vashan Wright said in a statement.

Wright, however, said these findings do not rule out the idea that ice exists or contributes other minerals.

Researchers believe that water does not exist in liquid form but is part of the mineral structure. Study co-author Michael Manga, from the University of California, Berkeley, explained that if water comes in contact with rocks, it produces a whole new set of minerals like clay.

Addressing the sighting, Michael added: ‘There is cement, but the rocks are not full of cement. The lack of cemented sediments indicates an acute water shortage 300 meters below the landing site of InSight’s probe spacecraft.

The Mars InSight mission was launched in 2018 to study earthquakes on Mars. The instruments on the lander measure the vibrations on the surface of the red planet.

Wright and the team studied these vibrations using computer rock physics modeling to infer the type of minerals these vibrations passed through.

Different minerals would affect seismic velocities in some way. Simulations carried out by the rock model showed that the subsoil consisted mainly of uncemented minerals. Scientists believe that if life existed on Mars, it would be below the surface because it will have a protective layer to keep out radiation. Now the researchers are eagerly awaiting a sample return mission that would allow them to better study the surface.


Tech

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