Curiosity continues its journey on Mars after a short circuit that will have handicapped it for a few days. And the latest analyzes of the probe lead to a discovery: nitrogen has been available in large quantities on the planet in the past.
If the discovery is interesting, it is because it confirms once again that Mars was not always as cold and desert. In the past, the planet thus offered water in liquid form and an atmosphere that could have given life the chance to appear.
Nitrogen was spotted in soil samples from Mars, the component could thus have integrated the composition of DNA or RNA, and be exploited by plants.
The samples were taken from two rocks located at the YellowKnife Bay site. The Curiosity SAM laboratory has thus identified the presence of nitrate molecules composed of one nitrogen atom and three oxygen atoms (NO3).
The concentration observed is 1100 parts per million, which indeed confirms the presence of nitrogen on the surface of Mars, a nitrogen which would be distributed globally homogeneous on the planet.
According to NASA's hypotheses, the nitrogen present on Mars was born from the tremendous releases of energy released by the impacts of meteorites. Curiosity continues its path to reach Mount Sharp and study other layers of rock to go back a little more in the history of the planet.