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Mars rovers find more water evidence
Posted: Tue, Dec 14, 2004, 8:07 AM ET (1307 GMT)
Mars Exploration Rover (NASA/JPL) The Mars rover Spirit has identified a mineral that is the latest evidence that the planet once had significant quantities of water. Spirit found the mineral goethite in bedrock in the Columbia Hills, several kilometers from the rover's landing site in Gusev Crater. This mineral forms only in the presence of water, although that water could be in the form of ice or vapor, not just liquid water. On the other side of the planet, the rover Opportunity, which recently exited Endurance Crater, has seen frost and clouds, evidence of changing seasons on the planet. Both rovers are in good condition after nearly a year on the planet. While Spirit has experienced problems with one of its six wheels, rover operators now say the amount of "worrisome friction" from that wheel has been decreasing.
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