NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover has confirmed that a region located on the side of lower Mount Sharp it’s exploring, called the “clay-bearing unit,” often forms in water essential for life. Two samples the rover recently drilled at rock targets called “Aberlady” and “Kilmarie” have revealed the highest amounts of clay minerals ever found during the mission. Both drill targets appear in a new selfie taken by the rover on May 12, 2019, the 2,405th Martian day, or sol, of the mission.
“Each layer of this mountain is a puzzle piece,” said Curiosity Project Scientist Ashwin Vasavada of JPL about the Mars epi-center of NASA’s Curiosity mission’s goal, Gale Crater’s Mount Sharp. “They each hold clues to a different era in Martian history. We’re excited to see what this first sample tells us about the ancient environment, especially about water.”