Mars’ Gale Crater once had a longstanding massive lake
Fuck! Get me the time-machine-space-ship! We’re going to the goddamn Red Planet to bathe in Gale Crater. Fuck practicality and “scientific limitations.” I’m going there and you can’t stop me. So grab your swim trunks, your handy guide for Colonizing Planets, and protein bars. You might as well join me.
Gale Crater, the landing site of the Mars Curiosity rover, has long been hypothesized to have once held a large standing body of water. In a teleconference this afternoon, NASA announced new scientific findings which support that claim and also suggest that the lake existed for millions of years — potentially long enough for life to have formed.
Since they landed the rover on the red planet over two years ago, the team behind Curiosity has been able to determine that the base of the crater “had the right ingredients and environment to have been able to support microbial life,” said lead scientist of the Mars Exploration Program Michael Meyer. What the team didn’t yet know was for how long those conditions lasted. The details released today about the sediments at the base of Mount Sharp imply that the massive crater which surrounds it (Gale Crater measures over 96 miles in diameter) held a lake so large that the presence of water could not have been fleeting.
Fuck. This is rad.