Curiosity had discovered deposits of salt in the Gale crater, which was created when an asteroid crashed into the surface. Some researchers believe that the deposits could offer valuable data about life on Mars.
According to a researcher who offered an interview for a popular news source, the rover observed sediments carried by water and wind in the floor of the crater. Some bacteria could have withstood the harsh conditions.
The new data also infers that the climate of the planet changed from a warm and wet period to a considerably colder one, during which precipitations were absent, and the wind was strong. It was a gradual change, and there would be temperature variations over time, alternating between warm and wet and cold and dry.
The rocks which are currently observed by Curiosity have the same age as the one form which the first traces of fossilized life have been recovered on Earth. It seems that they might have been present when the environment was favorable for the development of bacteria.
The Gale crater is located near the south of the equator. It is estimated that an asteroid created it millions of years ago. Over time, the crater was filled with sediments, which became rock. NASA researchers selected the crater as a priority objective from day one since it can convey valuable information about the geological past of the planet.
Salt sediments have been observed across a section with a height of150 meters spread across a region of a region known as Sutton Island in 2017. Data obtained from other sites suggests that there were intermittent dry periods. As Earth and Mars were quite similar during the early days, it was thought that Sutton Island might have been like the saline lakes, which are found in Altiplano, South America.
More data is needed before a definite answer will be offered. Curiosity will continue to collect data as NASA plans to learn more about the Red Planet.