Rover Curiosity Conducts Historic Drilling on Mars

NASA rover Curiosity has conducted the first interplanetary drilling operation on Mars today. This is the first time humans have drilling on a planet other than Earth. The location is on a patch of flat rock called “John Klein. The results will be analyzed to determine if further drilling is warranted. NASA

NASA’s Big Mars Rover News Disappoints

As we reported previously NASA was going to announce findings from the Mars rover Curiosity. Speculation was rampant that the news would be about life on Mars or something equally historic. Unfortunately the news was scientifically important, but not historic. NASA yesterday revealed Curiosity’s Sample Analysis at Mars instrument, or SAM has detected simple, chlorinated organics — chemicals containing carbon and at least one chlorine atom — but it’s unclear if the carbon within them is native to Mars or whether it hitched a ride from Earth, researchers said. Here to hoping the rover finds something truly historic!

Rover Curiosity Makes Historic Find?

Mars Rover Curiosity has been digging in the Gale crater for a number of weeks. Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) and Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) instruments have found something that might be historic. NASA won’t comment until a series of confirming test have been completed, it is possible that the Rover has found evidence of past life on Mars! More to be revealed – Discovery

Curiosity Finds Dust on Mars Similar to Hawaii

Rover Curiosity has found some similarities between the Martian dust it has been collecting and weathered basaltic soils of volcanic origin in Hawaii. “We had many previous inferences and discussions about the mineralogy of Martian soil,” said David Blake of NASA Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., who is the principal investigator for CheMin. “Our quantitative results provide refined and in some cases new identifications of the minerals in this first X-ray diffraction analysis on Mars.” “Our team is elated with these first results from our instrument,” said Blake. “They heighten our anticipation for future CheMin analyses in the months and miles ahead for Curiosity.” – JPL

Curiosity Plays in Martian Sandbox

NASA’s Martian rover Curiosity is ready to play in the Martian sandbox. The rover has traversed almost 1/4 mile to find a suitable sandy location to begin soil sampling. Mission scientists have named the area Rocknest. The rover will practice scooping, yes practice for a few weeks before taking an “official” sample. The  Mars Hand Lens Images (MAHLI) instrument will provide close-up views of rocks and soil samples near the rover. The Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) sits the end of Curiosity’s arm, allowing the rover to place it right up against rocks and soil. – Wired


Curiosity Explores Ancient Riverbed

We wanted to give an update on the progress of the Martian rover Curiosity. The rover has moved into the Gale crater to explore what NASA believes is an ancient riverbed. Curiosity has uncovered a rock, nicknamed Hottah, “looked like someone came to the surface of Mars with a jackhammer,” said John Grotzinger of Caltech, project scientist for the mission, during a NASA press conference today,  “adding that it wouldn’t look out of place as a slab of concrete in downtown L.A.” – Wired

NASA Sends Curiosity a “Brain Transplant”

NASA is sending Curiosity a software update to put the rover in exploration mode. The software on-board for the landing was optimized for landing. Now that it is no longer needed NASA is sending code for exploring Mars. We wonder why NASA just didn’t include an extra 32GB SD card with the update. NASA says the update will take almost 72 to complete – Engadget