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Curiosity picks up first scoopful of Mars

Posted on Tuesday, 9 October, 2012 | Comment icon 25 comments | News tip by: Waspie_Dwarf


Image credit: NASA

 
NASA's Curiosity rover has used its robotic arm to pick up a scoop of soil from the Martian surface.

It's the first time the rover has collected some of the soil, a video has also been released showing the sample being vibrated inside the scoop to determine its texture and to even off the amount collected. While the initial sample won't be used for analysis, NASA will later pick up another scoop of soil and deliver a small amount to the rover's on-board instruments.

Officials have also detected what appears to be a small bright object on the ground which could potentially be part of the rover itself. An investigation is being carried out to determine if something may have broken off before the mission continues.

"The clip includes 256 frames from Curiosity's Mast Camera, taken at about eight frames per second, plus interpolated frames to run at actual speed in this 32-frames-per-second version."

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 Source: NASA


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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #16 Posted by Bavarian Raven on 9 October, 2012, 19:30
ok Oz,microbes or whatever,I wouldnt expect them to find a fossil, or some other Martian creature ,but to examine a crater blasted out long ago doesnt look right to me,because an impact would cause everything to be atomised by the heat generated, within that area,and nothing would be left alive or dead.So once they've convinced themselves that there's nothing there, they might move on to somewhere like a dry river bed,which could be more successfull.I would like to see something positive come out of this. Actually, on impact craters on earth, they have found dead single-celled life preserved w... [More]
Comment icon #17 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 9 October, 2012, 19:39
do they know what the shiny thing is yet? Object Likely Benign Plastic from Curiosity RoverTue, 09 Oct 2012 07:49:45 PM GMT Curiosity's main activity in the 62nd sol of the mission (Oct. 8, 2012) was to image a small, bright object on the ground using the Remote Micro-Imager of the Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) instrument. The rover team's assessment is that the bright object is something from the rover, not Martian material. It appears to be a shred of plastic material, likely benign, but it has not been definitively identified. To proceed cautiously, the team is continuing the investigation... [More]
Comment icon #18 Posted by sean6 on 9 October, 2012, 20:08
http://www.foxnews.c...n-surface-mars/
Comment icon #19 Posted by MaddoxHQ on 9 October, 2012, 23:14
I had my doubts on finding life in the crater myself. Now I have other doubts. If this crater is a supposed 3.5-3.8 BILLION years old.. after looking up a bunch of old craters on earth. Anything that old is completely covered up due to wind and water erosion, and tectonic activity. If we surmise the Martian crater is that old, we also have to guess that Mars has been pretty quiet for 3.5 years. On earth 3.5 billion years ago, it was the Hadean time. Heavy bombardment time, and since that was a system wide time, Mars was also heavily bombarded. I think the chances of finding life are extremely ... [More]
Comment icon #20 Posted by Zeta Reticulum on 9 October, 2012, 23:27
"Image credit: NASA NASA's Curiosity rover has used its robotic arm to pick up a scoop of soil from the Martian surface. It's the first time the rover has collected some of the soil, a video has also been released showing the sample being vibrated inside the scoop to determine its texture and to even off the amount collected. While the initial sample won't be used for analysis, NASA will later pick up another scoop of soil and deliver a small amount to the rover's on-board instruments. Officials have also detected what appears to be a small bright object on the ground which could potentially b... [More]
Comment icon #21 Posted by tipotep on 10 October, 2012, 0:18
They aren't going to return the samples. There is a reason why Curiosity is also known as the Mars Science Laboratory, it will analyse the samples itself. Are you trying to confuse me or something If they aren't going to return any samples to earth why did you write ... In the highly unlikely event that there is deadly bacteria on Mars wouldn't it be for the best if it was discovered now BEFORE we return samples to the Earth? TiP.
Comment icon #22 Posted by Timonthy on 10 October, 2012, 3:24
Are you trying to confuse me or something If they aren't going to return any samples to earth why did you write ... TiP. I read it as him referring to possible samples being returned on future missions?
Comment icon #23 Posted by stevewinn on 10 October, 2012, 16:59
I read it as him referring to possible samples being returned on future missions? Yes i read it the same way. - but to be fair to tipotep the reply could lead to confusion if people dont understand the abilities of Curiosity. it only becomes clear without reference waspie was referring to future missions if you understand the abilities of the rover in the first place. all cleared up now so confusion over well played timonthy. im looking forward to see what curiosity discovers. the findings cannot come soon enough. this is the only downside to space exploration, it takes to long.
Comment icon #24 Posted by 27vet on 10 October, 2012, 19:04
Let's hope the "object" is benign if it came from the rover. As far as bringing samples back is concerned, it would not be a big jump from where we are now.
Comment icon #25 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 10 October, 2012, 19:17
Let's hope the "object" is benign if it came from the rover. As far as bringing samples back is concerned, it would not be a big jump from where we are now. It's a bit more complex than you make it seem. Firstly you will need a rover to collect the samples, probably over a 2 year period whilst waiting for the next vehicle to arrive. Then you need to land a second spacecraft, with pin point accuracy, close enough to the rover that the rover can deliver it's payload to the return vehicle. The return vehicle has to launch a capsule from the Martian surface onto a course which will return that cap... [More]


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