Scientists Speculate on Top-Secret Mars Rover Discovery
NASA’s Curiosity rover on Mars is busily grinding out science data — and has likely relayed some provocative findings — but mum’s the word from scientists on the mission.
At the epicenter of all the speculation is that Curiosity’s Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument has gulped in Martian soil and regurgitated exciting news.
John Grotzinger, lead mission investigator for the Curiosity rover, set the rumors in motion during an interview with NPR last week, saying, “We’re getting data from SAM … this data is gonna be one for the history books. It’s looking really good.”
Whatever history-making news there is to report, Curiosity scientists are expected to cough up the goods at this year’s American Geophysical Union (AGU) meeting in San Francisco, to be held from Dec. 3 to Dec. 7.
On the AGU agenda is a discussion of Curiosity’s search for organic molecules on Mars with its Gas Chromatograph-Mass Spectrometer — a key instrument to help explore the surface and subsurface of Mars, seeking traces of prebiotic or biological activity.
As expected, readers in the blogosphere have already chimed in with what they believe Curiosity has found; their guesses so far have included a fossil, a black monolith, Tang and Jimmy Hoffa. [Top 5 Attempts to Find Life on Mars]