NASA's Curiosity rover could destroy its own electronics systems when it begins using its percussive drill to mine Mars rock samples, the space agency has admitted, a known flaw since before the robot explorer even took off from Earth. The late discovery of a prone-to-failure bond in the drilling mechanism forced the Jet Propulsion Team responsible for the rover to implement a potential workaround, after realizing that should the bond break, an electrical short could zap all of Curiosity's computer systems.
NASA has announced today that the Curiosity rover currently putzing around on Mars has conducted its first, extensive test that analyzed soil samples that the rover dug up previously. The results found a "complex chemistry" in the soil. Water, sulfur and chlorine-containing substances were discovered, along with a few other ingredients.
NASA's teased data "for the history books" from the Curiosity Mars rover has all been a huge misunderstanding, the space agency now says, with the reference apparently encompassing the mission as a whole - not a specific finding. Anticipation was built earlier this month when principal investigator John Grotzinger told NPR that "this data is gonna be one for the history books" and that "it's looking really good"; his comments were interpreted as specific to a set of soil sample results Curiosity's onboard labs had just beamed back to Earth, but NASA says it was all a case of confusion.
NASA's Curiosity Mars rover has discovered "some exciting new results" during its exploration of the Martian surface, but the team behind the distant explorer can't yet spill the beans as the data must be re-checked. "This data is gonna be one for the history books. It's looking really good" principal investigator John Grotzinger teased NPR, with the full reveal potentially not taking place for several weeks. However, NASA has confirmed that it's data from the SAM (Sample Analysis at Mars) tool.
Welcome back to Mars, ladies and gentlemen, as the NASA Curiosity mission continues its epic journey across the planet's surface with a news note that they have found radiation levels totally safe for human beings. This finding is entirely encouraging for the future of Mars exploration as far as actually sending human beings there goes, and certainly doesn't send a negative mark back on the possibility of us living there someday. Of course if you're a fan of the original Total Recall, you don't care one way or another simply for the safety of your eyeballs, but still.
Today, NASA released a high-resolution self-portrait of the Mars Curiosity rover taken by the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI). The photo consists of 55 images that were stitched together to create one giant photograph of the rover. The images were taken on October 31, and were sent down to Earth this morning.
NASA's Martian rover, Curiosity, has beamed back early results from its first mouthful of red soil, with signs that the Mars dust is similar in composition to Hawaiian volcanic basalt. X-ray diffraction testing of an accuracy previously unseen on Mars was used on a sample gathered earlier this month, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory announced, with the soil believed to be much younger than that which suggested evidence of historic water on the planet's surface several weeks ago.
NASA's Curiosity rover has snatched a scoop of Martian soil for analysis, the culmination of years of planning as the robotic explorer begins the hunt for evidence that life might once have been supported on the red planet. The new milestone followed two test scoops Curiosity slowly gathered and discarded as part of its preparation for soil testing, with the final sample being roughly as much as a crushed baby asprin and even now running through the rover's onboard Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) instrument.
NASA's Curiosity robot, which has been rolling hither and yon on Mars in search of microbial life, has revealed some aspects of a rock that surprise scientists. The rock, named Jack Matijevic in honor of a NASA engineer who passed away shortly after Curiosity landed, contains a varied composition profile that was unexpected based on past missions. These newly discovered compositions give scientists a greater insight into the Martian planet's environment and processes.