NASA’s Pathfinder May Have Explored Martian Northern Sea Remains in 1997

Steven Burnett
Steven Burnett

Updated · Mar 18, 2019

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First Mars exploration mission started in 1997 with the Pathfinder mission. The Pathfinder lander might have landed near the remains of the old Martian sea, which once contained liquid water. According to a new research paper written by senior scientist Alexis Rodriguez, the Pathfinder lander may have accidentally explored the remains of the Martian Northern Sea. Alexis Rodriguez is working as a senior scientist at the Planetary Science Institute. The original landing site of the Pathfinder lander is on the sides of the spillover from the ocean. The area on which the rover is landed is covered with the overflows from the big flood from millions of years ago.

The research paper is named as “The 1997 Mars Pathfinder Spacecraft Landing Site: Spillover Deposits from an Early Mars Inland Sea,” and is published in the Nature Scientific Reports journal. According to the same, the thorough study of the same landing spot with some advanced rover will help humans to know more about the Martian oceans and also get some clues about the habitability on the red planet. First, we knew about the Martian water channels from the stunning images sent by Mariner 9 spacecraft.

The water flood channels were formed nearly 3.4 billion years ago when there was the water in Martian oceans. The flood triggered by earthquakes on the planet make the marks on these channels, which the Mariner 9 and many other spacecraft studied in details. To investigate the same, NASA sent Sojourner rover aboard the Pathfinder lander. The same lander landed near the once-existed ocean and released the Sojourner rover to explore the terrain. According to the data sent by the rover, the flood started nearly 3.3 billion years ago and was a massive flood. But according to the scientific simulations done by the scientists, the surge would be ten times bigger than the reported data by Sojourner rover.

Steven Burnett

Steven Burnett

Steven Burnett has over 15 years of experience spanning a wide range of industries and domains. He has a flair for collating statistical data through extensive research practices, and is well-versed in generating industry-specific reports that enables his clients to better comprehend a market’s landscape and aid in making well-informed decisions. His hobbies include playing football and the guitar.