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News From the Field
Antarctic Salty Soil Sucks Water Out of Atmosphere: Could It Happen on Mars?

February 27, 2012

Antarctica's McMurdo Dry Valleys The frigid McMurdo Dry Valleys in Antarctica are a cold, polar desert, yet the sandy soils there are frequently dotted with moist patches in the spring despite a lack of snowmelt and no possibility of rain. A new study, led by an Oregon State University geologist, found the salty soils in the region actually suck moisture out of the atmosphere, raising the possibility that such a process could take place on Mars or on other planets. Full Story

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Oregon State University

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2014, its budget is $7.2 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives about 50,000 competitive requests for funding, and makes about 11,500 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $593 million in professional and service contracts yearly.

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