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NASA spacecraft may have explored the margins of Mars early in 1997.

Left: Sojourner Rover on Pathfinder Lander. According to our paper, a large amount of rocks could have been eroded from sea margins due to the flooded floods. Credits: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Right: About 3.4 billion years ago, Mars experienced a massive flood. This panel shows the remodeling of the surrounding – Chryse area, which includes part of the ocean and the northern plains seas at that time. The Pathfinder Landing Plan (crosshair symbol) is located in a massive waterway connecting the inland and the northern seas. The basic map is a MOLA digital elevation model (460m / pixel) centering on 5 ° 31 '' N '', 30 ° 51 '' and 24 '' W. Credits: MOLA Science Team, MSS, JPL, NASA

According to a new paper published by space probe scientist Alexis Rodriguez, NASA's Pathfinder, a Mars probe, has imaged an alien marine ripple landscape 22 years ago.

The landing point is in the outpost of the ancient sea that experienced catastrophic floods released from the planet's underground surface and its deposits. This potentially provides evidence of the possibility of a Martian residence, Professor Rodriguez said, "1997 Mars Expedition Space Ship Landing: Spills from the Early Mars Inland Sea" Scientific report.

Almost half a century ago, the Mariner 9 spacecraft returned some images of the largest channel in the solar system. The orbital observations of the gigantic channels suggested that they formed about 3.4 billion years ago, a much more cataclysmic flood than what is known to have occurred on Earth. The abundant flowing water, once sculpted by Mars, has sparked renewed interest in the possibility that life once flourished on Earth.

To test the Mars Flood hypothesis, NASA deployed a Mars probe 1. Sojourner boarded the Mars Pathfinder ship in 1997 when he traveled on a red planet. NASA sent a total of $ 280 million to the mission, including project and mission tasks. Terrain within the visible range of the probe includes potential river characteristics that imply a broad flood locally. However, these features suggest a flood that is at least 10 times shallower than that estimated using images from orbits. Thus, the mission could not rule out the still controversial alternative view that debris or lava flows could actually dominate the formation history of the channel without significant drainage.

"Our paper shows a very large basin in California, which separates most of the great Mars channels from the Pathfinder landing point, where debris or lava flows filled the basin before reaching the Pathfinder landing point The watershed calls for a cataclysmic flood as the main forming mechanism of the channel, "Rodriguez said.

"The basin is covered by sediments with an exact distribution of the inferred extent of flooding due to the potential catastrophic floods that would form the inland sea," Rodriguez said. "This sea is about 250 kilometers upstream from the Pathfinder landing site and is a remodeling of the highlands as part of a marine waterway that forms a land barrier separating the inland and northern waters.

"Our simulations will lead to a shallow spillover reaching the Pathfinder landing spot by producing a sea of ​​catastrophic flood," Rodriguez said.

The results of this research team show that marine runoff sediments contributed to the landscape discovered by space probes almost 22 years ago and reconciliated geological observations in the field of mission with decades of remote exploration channel exploration.

The sea is very similar to the Aral Sea on Earth in that both have no distinct coastline terraces. Rapid regression to the shallow submerged slopes resulted in a rate of coastline front retreats too fast for the terraces to form. The same process can partially explain the lack of long-recognized northern plains coasts.

According to PSI chief scientist Brian Travis, "Our numerical simulation results show that the sea has quickly disappeared within a few thousand years due to the rapid evaporation and sublimation of the sea, and the co-author of the paper.

"Unlike Earth, this sea is likely to be supplied as groundwater. If ancient aquifers aquifers life, marine sediments proposed in the Pathfinder Landing Area may contain a record of that life that is easily accessible through future missions. "Rodriguez said.

An interesting observation is that the inland sea and the previously proposed northern plain sea share the highest altitude-coastline altitude and imply a ground connection through the conduit between the two marine life shortly after formation. "Observations strongly favor the northern marine hypothesis," said co – author of the PSI chief scientist Dan Berman.

Additional information:
A massive Mars flood occurred as a regional process rather than a global one.

Additional information:
J. A. P. Rodriguez et al. 1997 Mars Pathfinder spacecraft landing site: sediment from the early Mars inland sea, Scientific report (2019). DOI: 10.1038 / s41598-019-39632-1

Journal Reference:
Scientific report

Provided by:
Planetary Science Institute

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