NASA verifying 'exciting' data from Mars Curiosity rover

Curiosity captures its tracks

The Mars Curiosity Rover has already sent plenty of new information about the Red Planet, but NASA apparently has some new exciting data it's in the process of verifying. As NPR reports, NASA is currently looking hard at data received from Curiosity's SAM instrument, a reader that can analyse samples of rocks, dirt, air, and other materials to determine its composition. Of course, despite the fact that principal investigator for the Rover project John Grotzinger calls the data "one for the history books," he's refusing to release any details on what it might be to avoid getting stung if their first impressions aren't correct.

"This data is gonna be one for the history books."

That's something that has already nearly happened once — earlier, the SAM sensor detected methane in an air sample (a gas often made from living organisms), but the methane was absent in further testing, with the scientists believing it actually came from Florida air. To avoid jumping the gun, NASA plans to run tests for several more weeks before talking about this potential discovery — while NASA would love to have a major new discovery to tout, it would also hate to have to admit that its data was faulty after exciting the scientific community. We're hoping that, regardless of whether the finding is accurate or not, NASA opens up about its secret once testing is complete.

The Verge
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