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Water on Mars

Notable figures, such as Elon Musk – the founder of Tesla and SpaceX – spoke out that the deteriorating health of our Earth would soon require humans to venture out into space to find a alternative home. The most practical option for such a home is none other than our neighboring planet, Mars. However, many people have argued that it seems impossible that Mars, a barren, dry planet with a very thin atmosphere, could sustain any life and thus deemed visionaries like Elon Musk as fanatics. In fact, even Musk himself agreed that Mars is a “fixer-upper of a planet” and would require humans to use extreme measures such as thermonuclear weapons to heat up the planet’s atmosphere. Even so, the planet would remain dry and barren, only warmer than it was before. NASA’s most recent and major discovery, though, reveals that Mars may not be as dry as we think it is: they found running water! Mars has been an object of interest for a very long time, and many rovers, including the Curiosity, have been sent to the planet to gather information to feed our growing database of knowledge about the planet. Through this gathered information it had already been shown that water in the form of oceans was probably present on Mars, but it was also agreed that the water is now completely frozen in small ice caps and unable to nurture life, if not completely lost into the void of space due to Mars’ weak gravity that fails to hold on to escaping water vapor. However, NASA observed that during Mars’ summer season, dark streaks would appear branching from the frozen ice caps but disappear during the winter season. By means of spectral analysis, NASA has proved that the streaks were indeed caused by running, salty, and liquid water. Excited by their discovery, NASA has launched projects with reinvigorated passion to further examine the planet for signs that life exists, or at least, did exist on Mars. Indeed, Mars still needs a lot of fixing up to do, namely heating it up to inhabitable temperatures, but if proof that life had been sustained on the Red Planet could be found, Mars may not need as much work to become a suitable home as many scientists predicted. This exciting news suggests that a future where Martians, not the green, three-eyed ones, but human ones, could indeed exist, and may not be as far into the future as we expected.