We have already told you about the story of China’s Zhurong rover, which broke down on Mars and no longer responded to insiders on Earth. Now, according to a latest report, the spacecraft may have found the evidence of ancient liquid water on the surface of the Red Planet.
Mars may have had liquid water on its surface up to 400,000 years ago. The researchers used three of the rover’s instruments to scan the sand dunes of Utopia Planitia, finding “recent” evidence of the precious liquid.
Scientists know that a small amount of frozen water on the Martian surface can be found in ice caps and inside craters, but the rest of the planet was thought to have dried up billions of years ago. However, recent research may now turn everything upside down.
Zhurong, who arrived on Mars in May 2021, has traveled about 2 kilometers on the surface of the arid world and has remained in total silence since May 2022. The team behind the mission believes that a layer of dust coats its solar panels, but the spacecraft continued to send valuable data back to Earth.
We know now that the water remained perhaps as late as 400,000 years agobut the data collected by the Chinese vehicle could help future searches for microbes on Mars that have adapted to very salty environments.