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NASA Mars Rover Fully Analyzes First Soil Samples

NASA Mars Rover Fully Analyzes First Soil Samples | Mars Rover | Scoop.it
NASA's Mars Curiosity rover has used its full array of instruments to analyze Martian soil for the first time, and found a complex chemistry within the Martian soil. Water and sulfur and chlorine-containing substances, among other ingredients, showed up in samples Curiosity's arm delivered to an analytical laboratory inside the rover.

Detection of the substances during this early phase of the mission demonstrates the laboratory's capability to analyze diverse soil and rock samples over the next two years. Scientists also have been verifying the capabilities of the rover's instruments.

 

Curiosity is the first Mars rover able to scoop soil into analytical instruments. The specific soil sample came from a drift of windblown dust and sand called "Rocknest." The site lies in a relatively flat part of Gale Crater still miles away from the rover's main destination on the slope of a mountain called Mount Sharp. The rover's laboratory includes the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) suite and the Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) instrument. SAM used three methods to analyze gases given off from the dusty sand when it was heated in a tiny oven. One class of substances SAM checks for is organic compounds -- carbon-containing chemicals that can be ingredients for life.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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China prepares to grow vegetables on Mars

China prepares to grow vegetables on Mars | Mars Rover | Scoop.it
Chinese astronauts are preparing to grow fresh vegetables on Mars and the moon after researchers successfully completed a preliminary test in Beijing, state media reported.
Via Sakis Koukouvis
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Sakis Koukouvis's curator insight, December 6, 2012 4:57 PM

Vegetables on Mars!

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Exclusive: Mars Rover Curiosity Featured in MAD Magazine

Exclusive: Mars Rover Curiosity Featured in MAD Magazine | Mars Rover | Scoop.it
The six-wheeled robot is depicted in MAD's venerable fold-in feature.

Via Leopoldo Benacchio
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