NASA's Curiosity Rover Shows Mars Once Habitable

Scientists say evidence shows the red planet could have supported life at one time.
3:35 | 03/12/13

Coming up in the next {{countdown}} {{countdownlbl}}

Coming up next:



Skip to this video now

Now Playing:


Related Extras
Related Videos
Video Transcript
Transcript for NASA's Curiosity Rover Shows Mars Once Habitable
Start with. Sort of the whole idea of where to land on Mars with this tremendous asset. When it came down to -- we narrowed the are landing sites down to four. And all of them looked really good and as you might imagine. Every single scientists had their favorite. In so we had for -- major contenders. And I kept on thinking now that we -- curious that we pick gale -- to go to. That the odds are twenty that are 75%. That we picked the wrong place to go. Well you can imagine relief landing there and then almost right off the bat we do find evidence of water -- CIA ancient riverbed. We're now finding. Environment in the near subsurface you know not too far beneath the -- layer of -- sort of a neutral. Rock all the things that we were really hoping for to find a place said could have been capital and his past so stars. Far as I'm concerned this is fantastic all the rest is gravy in terms of how the -- gonna go about looking around this area because it definitely -- Was. All the indications of Dina have a -- environment one point in time. I think Cole all added that Biden. Adding an additional point that what this does now is that. I think of all the planning that -- that Michael was talking about going into picking the landing site and then effectively exploiting the landing site. You know we had 400 team members and before we landed for about two months folks got stuck in the mapping this and that. Help us expeditiously find a place that when we landed no matter where we landed. We would be able to move better and -- and and -- the instrument check outs and and hopefully -- good place. I think what we can do now with the issue of of -- ability in the bag with a really -- had that ability now we can undertake. A more systematic search for a brighter carbon -- -- kind of thing that that that Paul was talking about. The search for organic carbon is it isn't -- it is an issue of this mission. And and you want to do this is deliberately as possible you don't want -- just wander around in and try stuff out. And so we have a search engine now and there's three components to this is -- -- in the past. The one this is of the primary environment has to have the mechanism by by which -- and rich. Whatever carbon signal is there whatever reason it's that are YouTube like to have a good strong signal. But the problem is is that what you see going on in -- in these images. Is that there's a process the geologists call -- genetic -- Genesis and it's all this chemical transformation that happens. Sometimes when you make these minerals and and chemicals. -- -- they actually use use the organics is as part of this electron flow I was talking about. So they can be degraded and then you leave the rocks at around for a couple of billion years and it's getting bombarded with radiation. This is not a simple problem and it's going to take us awhile but I think the mission is up to it and and we're really excited to get started on that now. Maybe David Paul. Six of the well I don't know -- -- I I think we really ran the table with this analysis because. Just coming to this place and analyzing this bedrock finding an eight Prius environment finding. What appeared to be capitol environment and and with good preservation potential. It kind of covered all that. All the points. What I would call. Just an elegant samples analyzed with our capabilities so I'm really have to we landed the spot.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

{"id":18712094,"title":"NASA's Curiosity Rover Shows Mars Once Habitable","duration":"3:35","description":"Scientists say evidence shows the red planet could have supported life at one time.","url":"/Technology/video/nasas-curiosity-rover-shows-mars-habitable-18712094","section":"Technology","mediaType":"default"}