'Bonneville' has Link with Mars

'Bonneville' has Link with Mars

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(Blackfoot-AP) -- Bonneville is a common name throughout the western United States -- and now even on Mars.

NASA's rover Spirit is headed toward a 160-yard wide crater named Bonneville.

Sheri Klug is an earth sciences expert who works with NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in conjunction with Arizona State University's Mars Education Program. She says the crater took its name from ancient Lake Bonneville -- which covered most of what's now Utah and portions of Nevada and Idaho up to roughly 14,000 years ago.

Klug says the Mars exploration mantra is "follow the water." NASA scientists decided a number of features in that area, including Bonneville, were like paleolakes, or ancient lakes.

Many Mars scientists have areas around Great Salt Lake -- a remnant of Lake Bonneville -- to see what things they should look for on Mars.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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