The origin of the channels on Mars has been a subject of intense interest since they were first recognized on early Mariner 9 images (Driscoll, 1972; Masursky, 1973). Their presence on the planet, and their striking resemblance to terrestrial flood channels related to glacial outbursts or to dendritic river systems has suggested to most investigators (Baker, 1974, 1977; Nummedal, 1978; Carr, 1979; Masursky et al., 1977) that they were formed by running water. Because life as we know it is dependent on water, the discovery by the 'Mariner cameras', of watercut channels and volcanoes as a source for water, and water ice in the residual north polar cap by Viking, has reaffirmed the choice of Mars as the best target for the search for extraterrestrial life. ?? 1979 Springer-Verlag.
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Martian channels and the search for extraterrestrial life