Did NASA discover an ancient sea on Mars without realizing it?

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UNITED STATES (VOP TODAY NEWS) — NASA’s space agency could have found the traces of the ancient Mars Sea decades ago without realizing it.

A new study says NASA’s first rover Mars mission landed on a waterway site from the inland sea, where “catastrophic floods” swept through the surface of Mars.

The findings come 22 years after Pathfinder filmed the scene, and can now add another evidence to a growing body of research that seeks to paint a picture of Mars’s wet past.

“Our research paper shows a basin nearly the size of California,” said Alexis Rodríguez, chief scientist at the Institute of Planetary Science. “Most of the giant Mars channels are separated from the pathfinder.”

The debris or lava flows can fill the basin before reaching the landing site of the Pathfinder.

In the new study, published in the journal Nature in Science Reports, scientists re-investigated the site of images by Rover Mars “Sojourner”, who arrived on the Red Planet aboard the “Pathfinder” landing craft in 1997.

NASA then deployed automated exploration equipment to study a series of large channels previously observed by the Mariner 9 spacecraft.

The new simulations found that the distinctive features of the landing area showed signs of massive flooding and an ancient sea, about 250 km from the Pathfinder landing site, but soon became ice-covered and disappeared over thousands of years due to evaporation.

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