What a Habitable Mars Might Look Like

The Curiosity Rover, in it's drilling samples, found evidence of a planet that once might have been habitable by humans and other Earth bound life forms. At any rate all of the necessary components appear to be in place.
"We have found a habitable environment," said John Grotzinger, project scientist for the Curiosity mission. "The water that was here was so benign and supportive of life that if a human had been on the planet back then, they could drink it."

Their finding is based in part on the discovery of both clays and sulfate minerals in the powered sample drilled out of the rock named after deceased mission project manager John Klein. Both materials only form in water, and only in water that is low in potentially life-killing acids. (Related: "Mars Rover Finds Intriguing New Evidence of Water.")
The animation below, by software engineer Kevin Gill shows what a habitable Mars might have looked like, based on geography and known water ways. If we can terraform the Red Planet, retore its atmosphere and get the water flowing again this is what it might look like in the future too.


[via io9]
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