Spirit searching

Spirit searching
Spirit searching Left: Senior planetary scientist Dick Morris, manager of the Spectroscopy and Magnetics Laboratory at NASA's Johnson Space Center (JSC) and a team of MER scientists announced in 2010 that they had uncovered the first carbonates found on Mars in data Spirit returned in 2005. It was the first solid evidence MER found for past near neutral water, and a huge discovery. Right: Planetary geologist Steve Ruff, of ASU, a member of Morris’ team, kept researching Spirit’s data in a work-still-evolving effort to figure out how those carbonates formed and how they got into Comanche, the big rock in which they were harbored. Ruff also discovered silica deposits using the Miniature Thermal Emission Spectrometer (Mini-TES) near Home Plate, which Spirit would scuff up as she roved around that site. MER scientists concluded Home Plate was an ancient volcanic formation surrounded by hot springs and fumaroles. Astrobiologist Jack Farmer, also of ASU, standing behind Ruff, supplied comparison rock samples from hot springs and fumarole environments on Earth. NASA / JSC (left); ASU, Tom Story (right)

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