NASA's Curiosity Rover Just Found Something...

The Curiosity Rover — that people-mover sized robot roving around Mars right now — has reportedly just "found something", according to the boffins at NASA, and while the administration won't confirm what it is just yet, they think it's going to be "one for the history books". OH GOD WHAT IS IT?!

NPR reports that one of the Curiosity's on-board instruments has found something "really interesting". That instrument is specifically the chemical lab that analyses the composition of the Martian surface. Specifically:

The exciting results are coming from an instrument in the rover called SAM. "We're getting data from SAM as we sit here and speak, and the data looks really interesting," John Grotzinger, the principal investigator for the rover mission, says during my visit last week to his office at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. That's where data from SAM first arrive on Earth. "The science team is busily chewing away on it as it comes down," says Grotzinger.

SAM is a kind of miniature chemistry lab. Put a sample of Martian soil or rock or even air inside SAM, and it will tell you what the sample is made of.

Grotzinger says they recently put a soil sample in SAM, and the analysis shows something earthshaking. "This data is gonna be one for the history books. It's looking really good," he says.

Whatever could it be? Confirmation that there was — or still is — water on the surface of Mars? Indications that a civilisation used to live there? Remnants of a cheeseburger? Proof that Kim Kardashian isn't actually from here?

Curiosity has already found evidence of a riverbed and some mystery metal particles its relatively short stint on Mars.

NASA and the scientists from the Jet Propulsion Lab are doing their sums really carefully on this one, so they can't tell us what it is until they're absolutely sure. When we do find out what it is, though, I hope it's amazing.

What do you think it is? [NPR]


Comments

    man, these NASA guys are teases.
    TELL ME WHAT YOU FOUND DAMMIT

    ...it had better be something good.

    I hope it's poop. That would be amazing.

    "We analysed the soil sample and determined that it was actually fossilized poop. There was life on Mars millions of years ago, and it pooped."

    Imagine the headlines!

      "New Poo Clue Belongs To... Who?"

        Hello, is this News Ltd? Hire Effluvium Boy.

        Headline of the year.

      I'd be impressed if they can analyse the poop and then declare the pooper to be male/female, what it had as a meal and how long ago the poop was dropped.

    A previously unknown element.

      Eezo?

      Anyone who has studied chemistry understands how profoundly unlikely that is. We're more likely to find a life form on Mars than an unknown element.

        Oh yeah then how so you explain flubber?

    I would put good money on it being a living life form of some time - bacteria or some other such thing - this whole double, triple checking thing, and the comments about it being a major historical event really makes me think it is this.

    Though I suppose it could just as likely be any number of other things, and they just want to be really really sure before announcing it. (such as evidence of life, actual water, stored Oxygen or any number other such things). But Actual Living Life excites me the most.

    That or the USSR did manage to land on Mars. ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pioneer_One )

      I can't even begin to imagine what it would be like to hear somebody at NASA say "We found life". I hope it is something that awesome, but I don't want to get my hopes up.

    The issue with NASA scientist is what they find really interesting, most people think it's nothing but science mubo jumbo...

    It probably just found evidence that Chuck Norris has already been there

      That's why there's no life there.

    They must have found fossil bone or even shocking human bones!

    Gold

    I hope the NASA PR boffins can get every last headline out of whatever it is so they can continue to justify their existence and argue a case for additional resources!

      Maybe it's oil, that'd be the one thing they'd really get funding for

    What scientists often consider amazing generally isn't always amazing to the general public. So it will be interesting to see what it is actually..

      agreed.

      probably announce that they found some more dirt and rocks

    I really wonder if something like this is newsworthy? Wouldn't it of been better to wait for the final results...

    They finally found jimmy hauffa!!!

    I think it will be fish bones from the river bed.

    I'm banking on it being some complex organics. Not life per se, but evidence there was life.

    Decepticons. And it turns out the whole mission is an elaborate viral marketing campaign for Transformers 4 - just like the Occupy movement was set up to promote The Dark Knight Rises.

    they found Diamonds

    hahaha we were talking about that at work today. I said it's prolly a coke can and a maccers wrapper. that sh%t is everywhere.

    Its the 1st Mars Geocache.... Damn.... Make sure you replace it with something as meaningful for the next Rover or Martian....Hmmmmm

    Yeah yeah yeah.... I'm expecting never to hear another thing about this, ever.

    life....

    and the reason they are saying they are 'double and triple checking'... is because they're busy deciding who's the one to go in the history books as the one who gave the 'life on mars' speech haha..

    oh and the one who ruined religion hahahaha

    It was a cigar butt.

    chance of finding anything on the surface that support the existence of life is not possible, so it could only be minerals that would be favorable to future man mission. What chance is there that it could be a piece of fossilised plant?

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