Today is the big day.NASA will announce some results from the Mars Curiosity rover at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco at 12 p.m. EST.
There has been a lot of build-up to the news conference ever since chief Curiosity scientist John Grotzinger was quoted by NPR as saying the rover’s Sample Analysis at Mars instrument, also known as SAM, had made a discovery for “the history books.”
Since the purpose of SAM is to look at the sand, rocks, and atmosphere of Mars and determine what minerals or chemicals that sample is made of, everyone assumed the rover had detected something in the soil that would tell us if Mars could support life.
NASA quickly back-pedaled, explaining that the findings had been overblown.
“Description of new findings as earthshaking did not come from anyone on the mission’s science team,” Guy Webster, spokesman for the Curiosity mission, wrote us in an email. “As for history books, the whole mission is for the history books.”
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which is in charge of the Curiosity mission, confirmed this in a statement on Nov. 29. “At this point in the mission, the instruments on the rover have not detected any definitive evidence of Martian organics,” officials wrote.
Regardless, we’ll update you with the results as soon as we hear.
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