NASA’s Curiosity Rover detects Methane, Organics on Mars
After a 20 month trek across Mars and careful analysis of data, NASA scientists have announced two separate detection of organics – in the surface and the air of Mars. (Photo Credit: NASA/JPL, Illustration – T. Reyes)
On Tuesday, December 16, 2014, NASA scientists attending the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting in San Francisco announced the detection of organic compounds on Mars. The announcement represents the discovery of the missing “ingredient” that is necessary for the existence – past or present – of life on Mars.
Indeed, the extraordinary claim required extraordinary evidence – the famous assertion of Dr. Carl Sagan. The scientists, members of the Mars Science Lab – Curiosity Rover – mission, worked over a period of 20 months to sample and analyze Martian atmospheric and surface samples to arrive at their conclusions. The announcement stems from two separate detections of organics: 1) ten-fold spikes in atmospheric Methane levels, and 2) drill samples from a rock called Cumberland which included complex organic compounds.
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