Feeds

Curiosity's MYSTERY MARS find: NASA reveals THE TRUTH

Strange dust may today unlock secrets of Martian life

The Power of One Infographic

Pic NASA will show the world today just what its Curiosity rover discovered in its study of the first Martian rock powder sample.

First Curiosity drilling sample in the scoop

SCOOP! Yes, Curiosity scooped up this soil from Martian surface

The space agency will hold a press conference at 1700 GMT (1000 PDT, 1300 EDT) to reveal the results of the roving robotic science lab's analysis of the grey-green dust it drilled from a rock on 8 February.

The powder is the first of its kind ever collected from Mars as Curiosity is the first rover with a robotic-arm-mounted drill to penetrate the Red Planet's stones.

After the nuclear-powered droid bored into the Martian surface and collected the sample, the resulting oddly hued powder has been through its chemistry and mineralogy instrument and its built-in sample analysis components to figure out what it's made of.

The sample-drilling is part of Curiosity's ongoing two-year mission to see if Mars has ever had or could ever support microbial life. The powder comes from a fine-grained, veiny sedimentary rock named "John Klein" in honour of a Mars Science Laboratory deputy project manager who died in 2011. The rock was chosen because it could hold evidence of wet environmental conditions on ancient Mars.

The press conference will be streamed live on NASA TV. ®

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 claimed lives of HIV/AIDS cure scientists
Researchers, advocates, health workers among those on shot-down plane
Forty-five years ago: FOOTPRINTS FOUND ON MOON
NASA won't be back any time soon, sadly
Mwa-ha-ha-ha! Eccentric billionaire Musk gets his PRIVATE SPACEPORT
In the Lone Star State, perhaps appropriately enough
MARS NEEDS OCEANS to support life - and so do exoplanets
Just being in the Goldilocks zone doesn't mean there'll be anyone to eat the porridge
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Diary note: Pluto's close-up is a year from … now!
New Horizons is less than a year from the dwarf planet
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.