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November 21, 2012

What the Heck Did Curiosity Discover on Mars?

From @benk84's headlines, an "earth-shaking" discovery?

The Mars Science Laboratory team has hinted that they might have some big news to share soon. But like good scientists, they are waiting until they verify their results before saying anything definitive. In an interview on NPR today, MSL Principal Investigator John Grotzinger said a recent soil sample test in the SAM instrument (Sample Analysis at Mars) shows something ‘earthshaking.’

“This data is gonna be one for the history books,” he said. “It’s looking really good.”

What could it be?

SAM is designed to investigate the chemical and isotopic composition of the Martian atmosphere and soil. In particular, SAM is looking for organic molecules, which is important in the search for life on Mars. Life as we know it cannot exist without organic molecules; however, they can exist without life.

It should be noted they usually mean "this will shake your world if you are a scientist who's very much up on current theory and can appreciate small bits of evidence about that, and not so much if you're a layman."


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posted by Ace at 04:04 PM

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