News & AnalysisFALL MEETING OF THE AMERICAN GEOPHYSICAL UNION

No Lake Mud for Curiosity Rover to Investigate?

Science  21 Dec 2012:
Vol. 338, Issue 6114, pp. 1522
DOI: 10.1126/science.338.6114.1522-a

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Summary

To Mars scientists, Gale crater's central mound seemed an irresistible twofer: an environmental record from when the once–water-rich planet slid into hyperaridity, plus the prospect of analyzing sediments that might have been laid down in an ancient lake. But at the meeting, two researchers report that probing the internal structure of the mound put a damper on these hopes, reporting that what they found bears little resemblance to a deposit formed at the bottom of a lake.

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