What flowing water on Mars means to us on Earth

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ST. LOUIS (KPLR) - Major news from NASA today, there is likely flowing water on the red planet!

That announcement was made this morning by NASA scientists at a news conference ahead of the release of a new paper scheduled to be released at the European Planetary Science Congress in France.

NASA says they used an imager aboard the Mars Reconnaissance orbiter to confirm the thick salty flows of liquid water that come and go based on the Martian seasons.

Sensor on the orbiter looked at light waves returned from the seasonal dark streaks that scientists have been tracking over several years.  Those sensors show characteristics that are consistent with liquid water, something NASA’s rovers have been hinting at for some time.

“Our rovers are finding that there is a lot more humidity in the air than we ever imagined.  As we ingest the soils they are moist.  They are hydrated – full of water,” says NASA Director of Planetary Science, Jim Green.  “

St. Louis Science Center expert Eric Gustafson calls today’s announcement a game changer.  “It is going to change how we look at Mars.  This is enormously cool.  This is the next step to answering the question, are we alone in the universe?”

The James S. McDonnell Planetarium already has a life size replica of the Mars rovers and will soon be adding a whole new exhibit.  The new exhibit will open in late November and will allow visitors to get interactive with Mars mission planning as they step into the shoes of Mars scientists.

The news from NASA makes everyone even more anxious to get to Mars, but there is still a lot of work to be done on earth before man ever steps foot on the surface of Mars.