Perchlorates on Mars
Perchlorates are salts derived from the perchlorate acid (HClO4). They form through oxidative processes in the atmosphere and accumulate with the dust (Smith et al. 2014). In 2008 perchlorates were detected by the Phoenix lander in the Martian soil. Sample analysis by the NASA rover “Curiosity” at Gale crater suggest the presence of perchlorates in an aeolian dune at the location called “Rocknest”. Perchlorates are of particular relevance in terms of Habitability on Mars because they could oxidize and therefore decompose possible organic compounds. Furthermore, on Earth perchlorates found in the Atacama Desert have been shown to serve as Nutrients for microbes.