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Space & Astronomy

NASA teases 'historic' Mars discovery

By T.K. Randall
November 21, 2012 · Comment icon 114 comments

Image Credit: NASA
Curiosity's chief scientist John Grotzinger has described the find as 'one for the history books'.
So far very little has been revealed about whatever it is that Curiosity has found on Mars that has scientists so excited. The discovery was made using the rover's on board SAM ( Sample Analysis at Mars ) instrument which is capable of identifying organic compounds in the Martian soil. According to Grotzinger, the team has discovered something interesting in one of the soil samples.

Unfortunately we may have to wait a few weeks for the official announcement, the team want to check and double-check the results to make absolutely sure that they are real. As Curiosity's primary goal on Mars is to determine if the planet has ever been capable of supporting microbial life, a "historic" announcement from the team is likely to prove very interesting indeed.[!gad]So far very little has been revealed about whatever it is that Curiosity has found on Mars that has scientists so excited. The discovery was made using the rover's on board SAM ( Sample Analysis at Mars ) instrument which is capable of identifying organic compounds in the Martian soil. According to Grotzinger, the team has discovered something interesting in one of the soil samples.

Unfortunately we may have to wait a few weeks for the official announcement, the team want to check and double-check the results to make absolutely sure that they are real. As Curiosity's primary goal on Mars is to determine if the planet has ever been capable of supporting microbial life, a "historic" announcement from the team is likely to prove very interesting indeed.
NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has apparently made a discovery "for the history books," but we'll have to wait a few weeks to find out what the new Red Planet find may be, media reports suggest.


Source: MSNBC | Comments (114)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #105 Posted by Mr. Bergstrom 11 years ago
bison, for me your take on things was very interesting. Just got a couple of questions, " It tells us nothing but the obvious; that tests on any single sample, scrutinized by one scientific team can not be definitive; that many more samples, tests, and peer review will be needed before something scientifically definitive is established." How long would this take do you think? I know that's like asking how long a piece of string is, but how long do you think that would take if it was the case of such a finding? I can't for the press conference later today! Leaving work early to watch it About t... [More]
Comment icon #106 Posted by bison 11 years ago
You're right about that piece of string, and I've never been very good at predicting the future. There are a lot of variables that could affect the pace of discovery. How clear is the evidence? Dr. Grotzinger's quick 'one for the history books' reaction seems to suggest something really striking, while the subsequent disclaimers by others in NASA make it seem rather less so. Did Dr. Grotzinger get carried away by his enthusiasm, or are the other NASA people being more cautious than necessary? We won't even to begin to have a sense of this for a couple of hours, yet. I do have a sense that if l... [More]
Comment icon #107 Posted by HawkLord 11 years ago
Lets hope the organic compounds they found is something like yeast so that we can all have Martian Beer.
Comment icon #108 Posted by thewonderman 11 years ago
Is there going be news regarding this discovery today ?
Comment icon #109 Posted by bison 11 years ago
There was a press briefing from 9 to 10 a.m. Pacific time, 17:00 UT/ GMT, today. Dr. John Grotzinger and several of his colleagues spoke about ongoing operation of the Curiosity rover on Mars. Dr. Grotzinger maintains that his 'one for the history books' remark refers to his relief, and satisfaction when the rover first successfully completed several tests with consistent results, showing that it was working as intended. I question his use of the expression 'one for the history books', without further explanation, and in a context intended for a lay audience. It seems that simple organic compo... [More]
Comment icon #110 Posted by 747400 11 years ago
So was that it, then, or haven't they actually said it yet?
Comment icon #111 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 11 years ago
There was a press briefing from 9 to 10 a.m. Pacific time, 17:00 UT/ GMT, today. I've posted NASA's article on this press briefing here: Curiosity Fully Analyzes First Soil Samples
Comment icon #112 Posted by seeder 11 years ago
Are we not on the cusp of finding out...exactly what...this is all about? What it 'really' means etc?
Comment icon #113 Posted by DieChecker 11 years ago
From Waspie Dwarfs link: Transformer Footprints!!! Small one from the looks of the prints... Teasing!!! Looks like dirt you might dig up in some places in Eastern Oregons high desert. CheMin's examination of Rocknest samples found the composition is about half common volcanic minerals and half non-crystalline materials such as glass. SAM added information about ingredients present in much lower concentrations and about ratios of isotopes. Isotopes are different forms of the same element and can provide clues about environmental changes. The water seen by SAM does not mean the drift was wet. Wa... [More]
Comment icon #114 Posted by DONTEATUS 11 years ago
So what If you mix that all up with some Good Vodka ? Maybe then We Shall see the Martians come out of the Stone work`s !


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