Politics of Water: Ancient Sea on Mars Begs Human Exploration

The discovery that a salty sea once covered part of the surface of Mars will have lasting effects on the future exploration of the red planet, according to scientists and policy experts inside and outside NASA. Space agency officials said the briney find by the Opportunity rover has singled out its Meridiani Planum landing site for future robotic exploration and given a timely boost to President George W. Bush’s recently stated vision of eventually sending humans to take a more personal look around.