Mars Curiosity Rover Discovers Gale Crater Once Held a Massive Lake Bed

Recent observations by NASA's Curiosity Rover indicate that Mars' Mount Sharp was built by sediments deposited in a large lake bed over tens of millions of years. This suggests that ancient Mars maintained a climate that could have produced long-lasting lakes at many locations. "If our hypothesis for Mount Sharp holds up, it challenges the notion that warm and wet conditions were transient, local, or only underground on Mars," said Ashwin Vasavada, Curiosity deputy project scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "A more radical explanation is that Mars' ancient, thicker atmosphere raised temperatures above freezing globally, but so far we don't know how the atmosphere did that. "