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Nasa's 'Oppy' rover could be rolling on Martian clays


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Nasa's Opportunity rover appears to have reached another milestone in its amazing nine-year mission on Mars.


Scientists report the robot has been trundling over what they believe to be clay-bearing rocks on the edge of a wide bowl known as Endeavour Crater.


Clays are water-altered minerals, but very different to the ones seen by the rover so far on its travels.


Those previous minerals were in contact with acidic water; clays are formed in the presence of neutral water.


"What drives us to investigate the problem of water on Mars is the fact that water is a necessary condition for life; but there's water and there's water," said Prof Steve Squyres, Opportunity's principal investigator from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.


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