Scientists working on Curiosity’s Mars Rover have said that they have made a discovery in a soil sample that will be one for the history books.
As to what this discovery could actually be hasn’t been disclosed yet, but from what was reported to NPR, it could be the big one NASA has been looking for.
The principal investigator for the rover mission, John Grotzinger, spoke to NPR’s Joe Palca last week regarding the discovery made by SAM (Sample Analysis at Mars) are going to be big.
Grotzinger says they recently put a soil sample in SAM, and the analysis shows something Earth-shaking. “This data is gonna be one for the history books. It’s looking really good,” he says.
The discovery was made by SAM which is a suite of instruments onboard NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory rover, Curiosity. In short, it is a miniature chemistry lab that can take soil or air samples and tell you what the samples consist of. SAM dug up five scoops of sand from a patch nicknamed Rocknest when it made the discovery.
We’re getting data from SAM as we sit here and speak, and the data looks really interesting. The science team is busily chewing away on it as it comes down,” says Grotzinger.
As for now though the scientists are keeping the discovery to themselves until they have fully verified their findings, just in case any errors were found.
Grotzinger says it will take several few weeks before he and his team are ready to talk about their latest finding. In the meantime he’ll fend off requests from pesky reporters, and probably from NASA brass as well. Like any big institution, NASA would love to trumpet a major finding, especially at a time when budget decisions are being made. Nothing succeeds like success, as the saying goes.
I for one always hoped that they would find some form of life on Mars even if that life is now extinct. For now though we are just going to have to wait to see what the final results are……
What do you think the scientists at NASA have discovered in the soil samples?