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Curiosity Tastes Soil

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Rover's 'SAM' Lab Instrument Suite Tastes Soil

PASADENA, Calif. -- A pinch of fine sand and dust became the first solid Martian sample deposited into the biggest instrument on NASA's Mars rover Curiosity: the Sample Analysis at Mars, or SAM.

Located inside the rover, SAM examines the chemistry of samples it ingests, checking particularly for chemistry relevant to whether an environment can support life. Curiosity's robotic arm delivered SAM's first taste of Martian soil to an inlet port on the rover deck on Nov. 9. During the following two days, SAM used mass spectrometry, gas chromatography and laser spectrometry to analyze the sample.

The sample came from the patch of windblown material called "Rocknest," which had provided a sample previously for mineralogical analysis by Curiosity's Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) instrument. CheMin also received a new sample from the same Rocknest scoop that fed SAM. SAM has previously analyzed samples of the Martian atmosphere.

"We received good data from this first solid sample," said SAM Principal Investigator Paul Mahaffy of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. "We have a lot of data analysis to do, and we are planning to get additional samples of Rocknest material to add confidence about what we learn."

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, manages the Mars Science Laboratory Project for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. JPL designed and built the rover.

More information about Curiosity is online at http://www.nasa.gov/msl and http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/ . You can follow the mission on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/marscuriosity and on Twitter at: http://www.twitter.com/marscuriosity .

Guy Webster 818-354-6278

Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

guy.webster@jpl.nasa.gov

2012-356

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Still waiting on the results of that bright particle found about 2 months ago.... sorry to be impatient

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Still waiting on the results of that bright particle found about 2 months ago.... sorry to be impatient

Has the thought even crossed your mind that as Curiosity is being controlled by scientists that know what they are doing, rather than you, who when you started this trolling 2 months ago, were unable to answer even the most basic questions I posed you, that the bright particle of soil is of no interest to the scientists as it is simply a light coloured piece of soil.

Now please stop disrupting every thread on Curiosity with the same pointless comment or they will simply be deleted as spam. Thank you.

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