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Mars rock offers more evidence of liquid water
Posted: Fri, May 21, 2004, 4:12 PM ET (2012 GMT)
Mars Exploration Rover (NASA/JPL) A rock ejected from a large crater near the landing site of one of NASA's Mars Exploration Rovers has given scientists additional evidence that the region once hosted liquid water. Scientists said this week that the "Lion Stone", a rock 10 cm tall and 30 cm long that was apparently ejected from Endurance Crater in the Meridiani Planum region of Mars, has characteristics similar to bedrock studied by the rover Opportunity in the nearby smaller Eagle Crater which show evidence of having formed in the presence of liquid water. Lion Stone contains subtle differences to the rocks in Eagle Crater, scientists said, and may offer a hint of what conditions were like before the Eagle Crater rocks were formed. Opportunity is currently at the rim of Endurance, circling it as scientists and engineers determine if, when, and how the rover will make its way into the crater itself. Meanwhile, Opportunity's twin, Spirit, is making its way towards its destination in the Columbia Hills on the other side of the planet. Project officials believe that Spirit can arrive at the hills by mid-June.
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