Editorial: Curiosity can’t kill life on Mars

As if the news on earth weren’t depressing enough, the latest dispatches from Mars are also gloomy. It turns out the red planet doesn’t have any atmospheric methane. Earthlings longing for inter-galactic companionship may have to set their sights elsewhere, for the gas is an important chemical signature of microbial activity. On earth, more than … Continue reading Editorial: Curiosity can’t kill life on Mars

Editorial: A year of curiosity

Curiosity — the car-sized remote vehicle with an array of sophisticated instruments — may have travelled only a little more than 1.6 km within the Gale Crater on Mars as it completed one year on the red planet August 6, but the invaluable information it has sent back has certainly changed our understanding of the … Continue reading Editorial: A year of curiosity

Editorial: A river ran through Mars

From finding a trail of evidence supporting the presence of water on Mars a few billion years ago, Curiosity’s discovery of subrounded or rounded pebbles provides definitive proof that the red planet once had a river. According to a May 31 paper in Science, multiple exposures of a sedimentary rock (conglomerate) containing densely-packed rounded pebbles, … Continue reading Editorial: A river ran through Mars

Rounded pebbles on Mars point to water flow

For the first time ever, scientists have been able to collect unequivocal evidence that water had once flowed on Mars some three billion years ago. Observations by NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity have revealed pebble-rich rock exposures that are so very characteristic of a riverbed. The round-shaped pebbles embedded in a matrix of coarse-grained sand are … Continue reading Rounded pebbles on Mars point to water flow

Editorial: Mars mission accomplished

Published in The Hindu on March 28, 2013 In what counts for one more extraordinary achievement in space science, the Mars Curiosity rover launched by NASA scientists has found strong evidence of habitable conditions that once existed at the Yellowknife Bay area in Gale crater. These reconfirm that certain regions on Mars have had favourable … Continue reading Editorial: Mars mission accomplished