Sunday, 19 August, 2018

Curiosity : Nasa reveals what its rover has discovered on Mars !

Life on Mars? NASA’s Curiosity rover discovers ancient evidence on the red planet What has NASA actually found on Mars - and why is it important?
Elijah Vega | 10 June, 2018, 21:26

Chairman Smith: "Congratulations to NASA on Curiosity's finding of incredible new evidence on Mars, including ancient organic molecules and atmospheric methane, that suggests the Red Planet may have supported ancient life".

Curiosity also has confirmed sharp seasonal increases of methane in the Martian atmosphere. "The question of whether life might have originated or existed on Mars is a lot more opportune now that we know that organic molecules were present on its surface at that time".

The discovery has been reported in the journal Science by NASA's Jennifer Eigenbrode and an worldwide team of scientists. Methane is also produced by non-biological sources though, and while those organic molecules could have enabled life to form they also might not have.

NASA discovered elements of life on Mars, traces back to 3 billion yeCuriosity rovers launched in 2012 has found an important element on Mars, responsible for life. That's because the surface of Mars is constantly bombarded with radiation that can break down organic compounds.

"While we don't know the source of the material, the fantastic consistency of the results makes me think we have a slam-dunk signal for organics on Mars", Jennifer Eigenbrode, a biogeochemist at Nasa's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, explained.

The Curiosity rover which is now trundling around the Gale Crater has found organic material in samples of mudstone, that once upon a time sat at the bottom of an an ancient lake.

The studies were conducted using evidence collected by NASA's Curiosity rover, which is now rolling around the Martian surface. Also opening was the data about seasonal fluctuations in the level of methane in the atmosphere.

Anthony Bourdain hanged himself with bathrobe belt
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NASA's Mars Helicopter, a small, autonomous rotorcraft, which will travel with the agency's Mars 2020 rover, now scheduled to launch in July 2020, to demonstrate the viability and potential of heavier-than-air vehicles on the Red Planet, is shown in this artist rendition from NASA/JPL in Pasadena, California, U.S. May 11, 2018.

This is not the first time that Curiosity has detected organic molecules, but previous measurements were considered unreliable because of possible sample contamination and unwanted chemical reactions. "We can find organic matter preserved in mudstones that are more than 3 billion years old", Siebach said. This is significant because most methane on Earth, for instance, comes from biological sources.

Do you believe that Mars once sustained life?

"And maybe we can find something better preserved than that, that has signatures of life in it", she said.

The study, which has been in place for around six years (the equivalent of almost three martian years), shows that low levels of methane within the crater repeatedly peak in warm, summer months and drop in the winter every year.

"We were kind of shocked to see that with the seasons, the signal changes by a factor of three, which is a huge change and completely unexpected", says Chris Webster, a rover scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

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