NASA's lone Mars Rover has successfully picked up its first batch of soil from a "clay-bearing unit" near Mars & # 39; Mount Sharp region. The US space agency has focused on this part of Mars for a drilling mission even before the curiosity hit the planet in November 2011. NASA has now confirmed Curiosity retrieved samples of rock material from a stone called Aberlady on Sunday, April 6. delivered the soil samples to their laboratory equipment on April 10, and the researchers are waiting for the analysis results with improved breath.
Water is one of the most fundamental building blocks of life according to human standards and is the key to discovering alien life in other parts of the cosmos.
Scientists have long suspected that Mars once hosted a lush and wet atmosphere with a landscape that is not so different from Earth.
Today, however, the planet is a hard and rude desert with a paper-thin atmosphere bursting with intense solar radiation.
The only signs of water found on Mars have been found in the form of ice caps around the freezing south pole.
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Life on Mars: Curiosity drills samples of clay from mardic bedrock
But the presence of clay in martian soil promises to update NASA's understanding of Mars old past.
The result of the rover's drilling so far seems promising.
Jim Erickson of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory said, "Curiosity has been on the road for almost seven years.
" The drilling on the carrier unit is finally an important milestone in our journey up Mount Sharp. "
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According to NASA, remote robot drilling was" chewed lightly "through the martian stone, suggesting the bedrock was much softer than expected  The space agen cy said in a statement: "It was so soft that the drill did not have to use its percussive technique, which is helpful in snagging samples from harder stones.
"This was the mission's first test that was obtained using only the rotation of the drill."
However, it is unlikely that the drill target will provide any major breakthrough in the search for liquid water.
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Life on Mars: Clay tests can prove that old water could increase the hopes of finding old life
Instead, NASA expects to learn more about how old waters contributed to forming the three-kilometer (five-kilometer) Mount Sharp.
The well-boring well is finally an important milestone  Jim Erickson, NASA
NASA said curiosity has so far encountered clay minerals and mudstones at every stage of their journey through Mars.
These stones are believed to have been formed in ancient lake beds by settling river sediments about 3.5 billion years ago.  The Space Agency said, "As with water elsewhere on Mars, the lakes eventually break up." They keep all clues to another era in the march story.
"We are happy to see what this first test tells about the old environment, especially about water."
But what does all this mean for the potential to find life on Mars
Scientists agree that life here on earth began in water and it is water that made life on earth possible.
Life on Mars: The distant rover is drilled in this soft bed of exposed martian rock
And if researchers can prove the same conditions as once existed on Mars, the likelihood that the simple, single-celled life developed on Mars will increase.
NASA said, "Whether the water is boiling hot or frozen, some kind of creature seems to thrive in it. Is it the same on other planets?" Or maybe there is still water on Mars, but it has gone underground.
"Can there be small life forms – like bacteria – on Mars even now?"