ibusinesslines.com August 19, 2018

NASA Confirms It Will Make a Major Announcement About Mars This Week

08 June 2018, 06:58 | Justin Tyler

Curiosity’s self portrait on Mars

Curiosity's self portrait on Mars. Image courtesy of NASA  JPL-Caltech  MSSS

According to some recent studies, one good place to look for life on Mars would be the rocks on the Red Planet as they might contain evidence of microbial life, as well as the traces of a long-extinct intelligent life on Mars.

It's probably not aliens, but NASA's Mars rover has apparently found something interesting enough for the agency to make a public announcement about on Thursday.

Further details on the find, however, are now scarce and the rover's results have been embargoed by the journal Science until the official NASA unveiling.

The event can be streamed live on NASA's online TV channel, Facebook Live, Twitch TV, Ustream, Youtube, and Periscope. Two years ago, the rover had a mechanical issue and couldn't drill into the surface, but engineers found a new way to restore that ability.

The space agency says it involves "new science results" but you'll have to wait until 1 p.m.

The key technology for Curiosity's soil sampling is its robotic arm, specifically its robotic hand, which is a complex assembly of sensors, drilling apparatus, and a system for accepting, grading, and conveying soil and rock powder to the laboratories located inside the body of the rover.

The pair of CubeSats that make up the Mars Cube One (MarCO) mission were both launched on May 5, along with the InSight lander, which is headed toward a November 26 touchdown on the red planet.

And, sure enough, on May 31, the rover successfully transferred the sample - taken from a Martian sedimentary rock that has been given the name "Duluth", the Inquisitr reported last month - into its mineralogy lab and will move it into the chemistry lab later during the week.

Ashwin Vasavada who is the mission's project scientist of JPL believes this is a substantial milestone for the assignment.

Testing a new method of drilling, and also new methods of delivery of samples will continue. The inlets lead to Curiosity's onboard laboratories.

After landing in the Gale Crater and exploring the area during the course of its two-year prime mission, it has been climbing and exploring the base of Mount Sharp since September 2014.

May 20, the new technique allowed Curiosity to drill first in 2016, the rock sample.

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