NASA‘s Curiosity rover used the drill on her robotic arm for the first time in February to drill into a Martian rock and collect a powered sample from the inside of that rock.
The space agency will hold a press conference on Tuesday at 1 p.m. EDT to discuss what it found in the first sample of rock powder ever collected on Mars, shown above in Curiosity’s scoop, NASA said in their announcement about the press conference.
This is a pretty big announcement because it could potentially tell us if Mars ever had environmental conditions that enabled the planet to support microbial life.
The grayish-colour sample, which stands in contrast to the orange-red dust that covers the surface of Mars, was fed into two instruments to see what it is chemically made of.
Scientists would be looking in particular for organic chemicals made of carbon and hydrogen because these are the “ingredients” considered necessary for live to arise on Earth.
NASA’s $2.5-billion rover landed on Mars in August 2012. She’s currently parked in an area called Yellowknife Bay inside of Gale Crater. The robot is headed for a spot called Glenelg near the based of Mount Sharpe, which rises up from the centre of Gale Crater.
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