TOP 5 SCIENCE DISCOVERIES
FROM CURIOSITY'S FIRST YEAR ON MARS

1.  A Suitable Home for Life

Ancient Mars could have the right chemistry to have supported living microbes. Curiosity found carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and sulfur – key ingredients necessary for life – by studying many rocks that formed in water. The first sample from inside a rock also revealed clay minerals and not too much salt, which suggests fresh, possibly drinkable water once flowed there.

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2.  Evidence of an Ancient Streambed





Smooth and rounded rocks found by Curiosity likely rolled downstream for at least a few miles. They look like a broken sidewalk, but they are actually layers of exposed bedrock made of smaller fragments cemented together. They tell a story of a steady stream of flowing water about knee deep.

3.  Radiation Could Pose Health Risks for Humans

During her trip to Mars, Curiosity experienced radiation levels exceeding NASA's career limit for astronauts. NASA will use Curiosity's data to design missions to be safe for human explorers.

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Click here to view The lack of Methane (So Far) slide show Click here to view The lack of Methane (So Far) slide show Click here to view The lack of Methane (So Far) slide show

4.  The lack of Methane (So Far)

Curiosity has sniffed the Martian air and found no methane present. Given that living organisms produce methane, scientists were keen to see if they could find it on Mars, but the search continues!

5.  Major Diversity of Environments Near the Landing Area





Scientists did not expect the richness and diversity of soil and rock types at Gale Crater. Curiosity has found gravels, streambed deposits, an unusual type of possibly volcanic rock, water-transported sand dunes, mudstones, and cracks filled with mineral veins. All of these are clues to Mars' watery past.

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