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New Evidence Asserts Mars Environment Over Billions of Years Ago Was Able to Support Liquid Water

River deposits exist across Mars and a region of Mars named Aeolis Dorsa contains some of the most spectacular and densely packed river deposits seen on the Red Planet

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FILE - The base of Mars' Mount Sharp is pictured in this August 27, 2012 NASA handout photo taken by the Curiosity rover. VOA
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New York, September 19, 2017 : The Mars environment over 3.5 billion years ago was able to support liquid water at the surface, says a study.

River deposits exist across the surface of Mars and a region of Mars named Aeolis Dorsa contains some of the most spectacular and densely packed river deposits seen on the Red Planet, according to the study published in the Geological Society of America (GSA) Bulletin.

These deposits are observable with satellite images because they have undergone a process called “topographic inversion” where the deposits filling once topographically low river channels have been exhumed in such a way that they now exist as ridges at the surface of the planet, the researchers said.

ALSO READ NASA Scientists Reveal New Information on Mars’ Formation and Evolution, Claim The Red Planet has a Porous Crust

With the use of high-resolution images and topographic data from cameras on orbiting satellites, Benjamin T Cardenas and colleagues from Jackson School of Geosciences at the University of Texas at Austin, identified fluvial deposit stacking patterns and changes in sedimentation styles controlled by a migratory coastline.

They also developed a method to measure river paleo-transport direction for a subset of these ridges.

Together, these measurements demonstrated that the studied river deposits once filled incised valleys.

On Earth, incised valleys are commonly cut and filled during falling and rising eustatic sea level, respectively.

The researchers concluded that similar falling and rising water levels in a large water body forced the formation of the paleo-valleys in their study area.

“We present evidence that some of these fluvial deposits represent incised valleys carved and filled during falls and rises in base level, which were likely controlled by changes in water-surface elevation of a large lake or sea,” the study said.

They observed cross-cutting relationships at the valley-scale, indicating multiple episodes of water level fall and rise, each well over 50 metres, a similar scale to eustatic sea level changes on Earth. (IANS)

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NASA is Currently Exploring Commercialising Operations

Bridenstine also noted that this could spread NASA's influence in pop culture, the report said

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NASA's Parker Solar Probe sends back first images. Flickr

NASA is exploring the feasibility of commercialising the agency’s operations in low Earth orbit to lower its costs while its eyes turn toward the Moon and Mars, the media reported.

NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine has unveiled an “Advisory Council committee” that will explore some of these plans, which could include product endorsements from astronauts and even selling the naming rights to rockets and other spacecraft, the Engadget reported.

According to Mike Gold, head of the Committee, the committee would also consider scrapping “obsolete” regulations to let US astronauts support private activities aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

Companies should not have to “turn to Russian cosmonauts” for private operations, suggesting that astronauts could even be involved in filming ads, he was quoted as saying.

Gold said the possibilities could include having NASA receive reimbursement when commercial space companies sell spots on spacecraft heading for the ISS, and leveraging those funds for access or services on future private-sector space stations.

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NASA mulling product endorsements, selling naming rights. Pixabay

“Our companies should not have to turn to Russian cosmonauts to execute commercial operations,” Gold was quoted as saying by the GeekWire.

“When new industrial substance are created, commercial experiments conducted, or even advertisements filmed, American astronauts should lead the way.”

While Bridenstine stressed that he did not know if this kind of commercialisation was possible (hence the committee), he noted that the move might help NASA compete with private spaceflight companies.

Also Read- Report: Tesla Misses Model 3 Car Production Target

The US has a shortage of military pilots precisely because they can make more money with airlines, the administrator argued — there could be a similar problem if they’re tempted away by the likes of SpaceX — a California-based private aerospace manufacturer.

Bridenstine also noted that this could spread NASA’s influence in pop culture, the report said. (IANS)

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