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Mar 25 2015

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Curiosity discovers nitric oxide on Mars

NASA’s Curiosity Rover Finds Biologically Useful Nitrogen on Mars, unlike atmospheric N2, which is inert. Though nitrates can be caused by organisms, they suspect the nitric oxide discovered by Curiosity was caused by lightening or meteor strikes.

“Scientists have long thought that nitrates would be produced on Mars from the energy released in meteorite impacts, and the amounts we found agree well with estimates from this process,” said Stern.

Still, nitrogen is important for ISRU air manufacturing, so the discovery of nitrates could help oxygen factories become more viable.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/03/25/curiosity-discovers-nitric-oxide-on-mars/

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