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Signs Of Salty, Liquid Water Boosts Hopes For Life On Mars

Dark, narrow streaks, roughly the length of a football field, are seen on Martian slopes such as these at Hale Crater. Scientists say they are signs salty, liquid water flows on Mars.
Dark, narrow streaks, roughly the length of a football field, are seen on Martian slopes such as these at Hale Crater. Scientists say they are signs salty, liquid water flows on Mars. Photo Credit: NASA

BERGEN COUNTY, N.J. -- To the untrained eye, the mysterious dark streaks marking Mars’ dusty craters may not look like much, but to NASA scientists, they are very likely signposts to the eventual discovery of life beyond our planet, according to a report in The New York Times.

James Green, director of the agency’s planetary science division, announced Monday, the Times story said, that scientists have identified waterlogged salts in these streaks. This may prove that they were formed by the underground flow of briny water on the present-day “Red Planet,” the story said.

Other NASA officials said the discovery may be the tipping point for the scientific community, the story said.

At the very least, it boosts excitement about the potential of a Mars mission in the 2020s, the Times reported.

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