|What has NASA found in the five scoops? Image: NASA.gov|
BIG NEWS LOOMING—NASA scientists involved with Mars Curiosity Rover have indicated something is up. They won’t tell us fearing it may be a false alarm. NASA.gov usually does a good job of updating its webpage with new Curiosity rover shots. But for the past few weeks it has stopped posting new images. The site has paused on the following photo, near five scoops of soil.
What was in the scoops?
The neighborhood hasn’t been this excited about scoops since Baskin-Robbins ice cream store shut down.
Did they find something here that could prove life exists on other planets? Or, did they find a piece of other failed missions?
Whatever it is NASA is mum but has promised to communicate sometime after the first of December.
They have said the new finding has the potential to rewrite the history books.
If so, what amazing good fortune to be alive at such a time.
Here’s what NASA.gov Curiosity image gallery has paused on:
Five Bites Into Mars
NASA's Mars rover Curiosity used a mechanism on its robotic arm to dig up five scoopfuls of material from a patch of dusty sand called "Rocknest," producing the five bite-mark pits visible in this image from the rover's left Navigation Camera (Navcam). Each of the pits is about 2 inches (5 centimeters) wide.
The fifth scoopful at Rocknest -- leaving the upper middle bite mark -- was
collected during the mission's
93rd Martian day, or sol (Nov. 9, 2012). This image was taken later that same sol. A sample from that fifth scoop was analyzed over the next two sols by Curiosity's Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) suite of instruments inside the rover. A second sample from the same scoopful of material was delivered to SAM for analysis on Sol 96 (Nov. 12). No further scooping of soil samples is planned at Rocknest.
The first Rocknest scoop was collected during Sol 61 (Oct. 7). Fine sand and dust from that scoopful and two subsequent ones were used for scrubbing the inside surfaces of chambers in the sample-handling mechanism on the arm. Samples from scoops three, four and five were analyzed by the Chemistry and Mineralogy instrument inside the rover.
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech