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Spirit finds rock altered by water
Posted: Fri, Apr 2, 2004, 10:08 AM ET (1508 GMT)
Mars Exploration Rover (NASA/JPL) NASA's Mars rover Spirit has found a rock that appears to have been altered by small amounts of liquid water in the distant past, scientists said Thursday. The rock, named "Mazatzal", is located near the rim of the crater Bonneville within Gusev Crater, which Spirit had been studying for some time. Images of the rock showed what appeared to be multiple coatings of material, as well as small fractures filled with minerals that appeared to have been deposited when water flowed through the rock. Scientists said that the rock was likely exposed to far less water than what appear to have existed at Meridiani Planum, the region of Mars the Opportunity rover is exploring; Mazatzal may have only been exposed to groundwater. Spirit is currently making its way towards the Columbia Hills, about 2.3 kilometers away. The rover moved 36.5 meters towards that destination on Thursday.
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