On April 28, 2023, Qin Xiaoguang’s team from the Institute of Geology and Geophysics at the Chinese Academy of Sciences published an important research finding in the journal “Science Advances,” indicating the past existence of liquid water on modern Mars. The term “modern Mars” refers to the period between 1.4 million years ago and 400,000 years ago, known as the Late Amazonian epoch of Mars.
This research is based on data collected by China’s “Zhurong” Mars rover’s navigational terrain camera, multispectral camera, and Mars surface composition detector. It provides additional ground observation evidence of liquid water in the low-latitude regions of Mars and proposes a water cycling model for Mars, which is of significant importance for exploring the climate evolution history of Mars.
On May 11, Liu Yang’s team from the National Space Science Center of the Chinese Academy of Sciences also published another important research finding on Martian water activity in the journal “Science Advances.”
Based on data from the navigational terrain camera and shortwave infrared spectrometer of the “Zhurong” Mars rover, this research indicates that the Martian surface contains rock formations resembling sedimentary rocks, rich in minerals such as hydrated sulfates. This marks the first detection of hydrated minerals on Mars by China.
These published research findings have sparked widespread public discussions on related topics. Currently, which discoveries from Mars exploration missions are related to the search for Martian life? What does the discovery of liquid water on modern Mars by the Zhurong rover imply? Could there be life on Mars? Is it possible for humans to settle on Mars in the future? Can we grow crops on Mars?