NASA is streaming a live press conference on the updates of the recent discoveries made by the Mars Curiosity Rover. Despite some rumors that you may have heard, don’t expect anything of a bombshell sort from this press conference with NASA.
NASA officials wrote in an update about what the press conference will be about, “This briefing will offer findings from examining the composition and textures of targets touched by the rover’s robotic arm.”
Monday’s press conference from NASA, will rid of rumors that organic compounds may have been detected on Mars. According to KPCC Southern California Public Radio, NASA caused a stir in late November when one researcher quipped the Curiosity had discovered something “for the history books,” findings which were soon downplayed as simply “interesting.”
“Rumors and speculation that there are major new findings from the mission at this early stage are incorrect,” officials at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, which manages Curiosity’s mission, wrote in an update Thursday, Nov. 29. “The news conference will be an update about first use of the rover’s full array of analytical instruments to investigate a drift of sandy soil.”
Mars Curiosity was able to use it’s instruments to analyze the soil that came from a drift of windblown dust and sand called a “Rocknest.” For the first time, Mars curiosity found a complex chemistry in the 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.
Participating in the briefing will be:
- Michael Meyer, program scientist for Mars Science Laboratory, NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C.
- John Grotzinger, project scientist for Mars Science Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif.
- Paul Mahaffy, principal investigator for Curiosity’s Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM), NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
- Ralf Gellert, principal investigator for Curiosity’s Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer, University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada
- Ken Edgett, principal investigator for Curiosity’s Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI), Malin Space Science Systems, San Diego, Calif.
While the Mars Curiosity webcast started at 12:00PM EST there will be another separate webcast held today to discuss the progress of the Voyager 1 spacecraft, and announce findings from the 45 year old craft designed for deep space exploration.