LOS ANGELES -- NASA's rover Perseverance has gathered data confirming the existence of ancient lake sediments deposited by water that once filled a giant basin on Mars called Jerezo Crater, according to a study published on Friday. The findings from ground-penetrating radar observations conducted by the robotic rover substantiate previous orbital imagery and other data leading scientists to theorize that portions of Mars were once covered in water and may have harbored microbial life. The research, led by teams from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) and the University of Oslo, was published in the journal Science Advances. The findings reinforced what previous studies have long suggested - that cold, arid, lifeless Mars was once warm, wet and perhaps habitable. In the meantime, the latest study is welcome validation that scientists undertook their geo-biological Mars endeavor at the right place on the planet after all.