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JULY 2021 I PCB007 MAGAZINE 39 Prices are set to remain high through the re- mainder of the year and will likely remain el- evated through the first half of next year. And that's when the landing comes in. Will we have an elegant Superman landing, or a Greatest American Hero sand-in-your-teeth landing? Right now, price increases look generally tran- sient, and a graceful landing looks possible. But there is a real risk that higher prices will be sticky, and the Fed is already behind in the battle to contain prices. If that's the case, inter- est rates will need to move higher more quick- ly which could, in turn, slow the economy and drive unemployment higher. PCB007 Shawn DuBravac is the chief economist for IPC. Today, Mars is a planet of extremes—it's bitter- ly cold, has high radiation, and is bone-dry. But bil- lions of years ago, Mars was home to lake systems that could have sustained microbial life. As the plan- et's climate changed, one such lake—in Mars' Gale Crater—slowly dried out. Scientists have new evi- dence that super salty water, or brines, seeped deep through the cracks, between grains of soil in the parched lake bottom and altered the clay miner- al-rich layers beneath. "We used to think that once these layers of clay minerals formed at the bottom of the lake in Gale Crater, they stayed that way, preserving the mo- ment in time they formed for billions of years," said Tom Bristow, CheMin principal investigator and lead author of the paper at NASA's Ames Research Cen- ter in California's Silicon Valley. "But later brines broke down these clay minerals in some places—essentially resetting the rock record." Mars has a treasure trove of in- credibly ancient rocks and minerals compared with Earth. And with Gale Crater's undisturbed layers of rocks, scientists knew it would be an excel- lent site to search for evidence of the planet's history, and possibly life. Using CheMin, scientists com- pared samples taken from two areas about a quarter-mile apart from a lay- er of mudstone deposited billions of years ago at the bottom of the lake at Gale Crater. Surprisingly, in one area, about half the clay minerals they ex- pected to find were missing. Instead, they found mudstones rich with iron oxides – min- erals that give Mars its characteristic rusty red color. Scientists knew the mudstones sampled were about the same age and started out the same – loaded with clays – in both areas studied. So why then, as Curiosity explored the sedimentary clay de- posits along Gale Crater, did patches of clay miner- als—and the evidence they preserve—"disappear"? (Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA) Photo below: This evenly layered rock photo- graphed by the Mast Camera (Mastcam) on NASA's Curiosity Mars Rover shows a pattern typical of a lake-floor sedimentary deposit not far from where flowing water entered a lake. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS) NASA's Curiosity Rover Finds Patches of Rock Record Erased

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