Chinese scientists revealed the discovery of water on the surface of Mars, thanks to data collected by the Zhurong robot, which has been exploring the planet since 2021.
The experts, who published their study in the scientific journal “Advances in Science and Research”, said the Zhurong detected crusts, cracks, granulations and other marks created by water on the Martian surface, state newspaper Global Times reported Friday.
Analyses show minerals that contain water abound, such as hydrated sulfates, protein stones and hydrated iron oxides in the dunes of Mars.
“We believe the evidence of water does not have its origin in groundwater but in snowfall or frost,” Qin Xiaoguang, author of the study, told the newspaper.
The existence of water on the red planet has been the subject of numerous studies. If confirmed, it would serve to better understand the evolution of Martian climate and support a possible human migration to the planet in the future.
Previous investigations have shown that water once existed on the Martian surface, but it disappeared due to the meteorological changes experienced by the planet.
This study reveals that Mars could still harbor some wetlands in areas of low latitudes and relatively warm, according to the scientists.
In September, Chinese experts, also based on the data collected by the Zhurong, detected layers of Martian terrain shaped by water activity about 3.3 billion years ago.
The Zhurong is part of the Tianwen-1 mission, which also includes an orbiter spacecraft and a landing module.
Tianwen-1 is the first Chinese exploration mission to Mars and aims to find more evidence of the existence of water or ice on that planet, as well as carry out research on the material composition of its surface or the characteristics of the climate.
In recent years, Beijing has invested heavily in its space program, achieving successes such as the Chang’e 4 lunar probe, which landed on the far side of the Moon in January 2019, a milestone never achieved in the history of space exploration. – Source EFE