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NASA Mars Rover Mission Uncovers Martian Mystery Wrapped in a Rock

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NASA Mars Rover Mission Uncovers Martian Mystery Wrapped in a Rock

By Ron G Anselm


"The mysteries in life make life like a riddle that needs to be explored more to unwrap the answer that makes a mystery worth the fun of finding the hypothesis to it." (R.Anselm, 2012)

Without mysteries life would be dull and boring and like the everyday ho hum of some people`s daily routine the motivation to even get out of bed and start the day without a mystery to find the answer to is nonexistent. Without some reason to turn off the alarm clock, slip on their dirty, fury slippers, put on their bath robe and head for the kitchen to plug in their morning coffee pot and press the start button while they get dressed and ready to head out the door to their broken down pick-up truck to get on the highway and head to their boring job they have held for the last ten years would be very dull to me, or at least if you look at some mysteries from planet Earth, yes mysteries even exist on other planets and in space and one of those planets that is hosting one mystery that has a big interest with NASA is Mars.

NASA has been putting a ton of time and effort and least to say money for research on everything they can find out about MARS and recently all that time and effort has paid off since a new piece of mystery and information has been discovered on the Martian surface. An image returned by NASA`s Rover has revealed some sort of spherical object embedded in rocks in and around what is known as the Kirkwood in the Cape York of the western rim of the Endeavour Cater where over is busy unwrapping new and interesting information about the surface of the Red Planet.

Rover also found other types of spherical objects back in 2004 which were nicknamed blueberries by NASA and it was thought the new discovery of the spherical objects were the same as the blueberries or other spherical objects discovered back in 2004 by Rover but the characteristics differ in the two.

The ones discovered back in 2004 had more iron-rich particles than the ones recently discovered. So, now NASA scientists are trying to discover the distinction between the two and at the same time how each of them differ from the next.

Since more information is being sent back to NASA on the new spheres discovery it has been learned that the new spheres measure about one-eight of an inch in diameter and again has been confirmed that the new sphere do not have the iron rich minerals the blueberries did that were discovered eight years ago.

Steve Squyres of Cornell University and is the principle investigator said, "This is one of the most extraordinary pictures from the whole mission. Kirkwood is chock full of a dense accumulation of these small spherical objects. Of course, we immediately thought of the blueberries, but this is something different. We never have seen such a dense accumulation of spherules in a rock outcrop on Mars." (Squyres, 2012)

Scientists have formed the initial hypothesis but are keeping an open mind since they are looking at various other hypotheses into this mystery that these formations of spheres discovered embedded in the rocks on the Martian surface are the product of concretions formed by action of mineral-laden water inside rocks. This would indicate the evidence of a wet environment in the early stages of when Mars was formed. These formations of spheres or what is also known as concretions result when minerals precipitate out of water to become hard masses inside sedimentary rocks. Many of the Kirkwood spheres are broken and eroded by the wind. Where wind has partially etched them away, a concentric structure is evident. (, 2012).

Opportunity on Rover used what is known as a microscopic imager on one of its arms to get a closer look at these spheres. Once the data was transmitted back to NASA scientists used what also known as an instrument is called the Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer to have a closer look at them.

Squyres commented on the validity and composition of these newly discovered mystical spheres by saying, "They seem to be crunchy on the outside, and softer in the middle they are different in structure. They are different in composition. They are different in distribution. So, we have a wonderful geological puzzle in front of us. We have multiple working hypotheses, and we have no favorite hypothesis at this time. It`s going to take a while to work this out, so the thing to do now is keep an open mind and let the rocks do the talking." (Squyres, 2012).

Sometimes you have to let the rocks do the talking and keep looking into this and wait to see what else comes out as more research is done. If there is more data to be found you can count on NASA`s Rover to be the source to discover that new and existing future information. There are more projects lined-up for Rover on the Martian planet which means there will be more mysteries to look forward to. Rover has been a big asset for NASA`s research since it landed on Mars.

Mars Exploration Rover Project Manager John Callas of NASA`s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California commented on Rover by saying, "The rover is in very good health considering its 8-1/2 years of hard work on the surface of Mars. Energy production levels are comparable to what they were a full Martian year ago, and we are looking forward to productive spring and summer seasons of exploration." (Callas, 2012).

NASA launched the Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity in the summer of 2003, and both completed their three-month prime missions in April 2004. They continued bonus, extended missions for years. Spirit finished communicating with Earth in March 2010. The rovers have made important discoveries about wet environments on ancient Mars that may have been favorable for supporting microbial life. (NASA, 2012).

So, like any good mystery whether you are reading a John Grisham novel or just sitting in traffic on the way home from work on a Friday afternoon waiting to get home fast and wondering why the car in front of you takes so long to step on the gas pedal and move when the gridlock of traffic finally moves; the mysteries in life is what make us explore our imaginations and search for more mysteries, but the mysteries in space like the spheres discovered on Mars make us read more on it to try to unwrap the answer that make the mystery fun.