g
NOTE: This article is only available to subscribers. Subscribe now to gain access to all articles, read exclusive interviews with top scientists from around the world, and browse the site ad free. The first month is free.

Will Curiosity’s scoop of powdered rock reveal signs of alien life?

Kramer Phillips | @KramerPhillips| February 21, 2013

Will Curiosity’s scoop of powdered rock reveal signs of alien life?

NASA’s Curiosity rover captures samples of powdered rock.

NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover has successfully transferred its first sample powdered rock and it is now preparing to search for signs of life.

According to the U.S. space agency, the two-ton Mars rover Curiosity successfully scooped a full load of powdered rock, marking the first time scientists have been able to collect a sample of the subsurface of Mars.  While the rover has yet to test the sample, NASA has already said it is providing a better view of the planet’s geological history. The powdered sample is reportedly gray in color, a first for astronomers exploring the surface of Mars. NASA says the gray color could mean the subsurface of Mars is immune to oxidization process taking place on the surface of Mars. If that is the case, the chances of discovering life may be much higher due to the fact that chemistry involving oxidation destroys organic compounds, according to John Grotzinger, principal investigator for the rover mission.

Comments
Comments should take into account that readers may hold different opinions. With that in mind, please make sure comments are respectful, insightful, and remain focused on the article topic. In addition, readers can send us tips, press releases, or ideas for stories: tips@sciencerecorder.com