Tests conducted by NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander confirmed the existence of water in a soil sample. The lander’s robotic arm delivered the sample Wednesday to an instrument that identifies vapours produced by the heating of samples.
William Boynton of the University of Arizona, lead scientist for the Thermal and Evolved-Gas Analyzer (TEGA) acknowledged the discovery of water on Mars.
There was evidence for water ice before in observations by the Mars Odyssey orbiter and in disappearing chunks observed by Phoenix last month.
With encouraging results so far, NASA announced extension of operational funding for the Phoenix Mars Lander mission until September 30. The original prime mission of three months ends in late August.