Nasa: Mars Soil Contains Rocket-Fuel like Substance

While one test showed soil on Mars contained some of the minerals seen on earth, such as magnesium, potassium, and sodium, in addition to the repeat confirmation of frozen water on the surface of Mars - a later test found a substance called perchlorate, which can be naturally formed or artificially distilled but is an ingredient in rocket fuel. While it is indicated as non-supportive of life, perchlorate exists on earth.

Speculation amongst other scientists and science journalists is that the sample could have been contaminated by the rocket thrusters of the descending probe. It appears that any additional announcements on this topic will have to wait until some point in the future.


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