Has Curiosity Rover Found Organic Molecules on Mars?
Much of the internet is buzzing over upcoming â€œbig newsâ€ from NASAâ€™s Curiosity rover, but the space agencyâ€™s scientists are keeping quiet about the details.
The report comes by way of the roverâ€™s principal investigator, geologist John Grotzinger of Caltech, who said that Curiosity has uncovered exciting new results from a sample of Martian soil recently scooped up and placed in the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument. Curiosityâ€™s SAM instrument contains a vast array of tools that can vaporize soil and rocks to analyze them and measure the abundances of certain light elements such as carbon, oxygen, and nitrogen â€“ chemicals typically associated with life. Grotzinger told Wired through e-mail that NASA would hold a press conference about the results during the 2012 American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco from Dec. 3 to 7.