Curiosity Is Analyzing the Components of a Martian Rock, Looking for Life

The Martian rover has started its first rock sample analysis

By on February 26th, 2013 19:11 GMT

Curiosity continues its quest of finding out whether Mars ever housed life by analyzing the first ever soil sample to be retrieved from below the surface of a planet, outside of Earth.

Curiosity used its drill for the first time recently to be able to retrieve material from inside a Martian rock. Now, its two main laboratories have ingested small portions of the sample and will start analyzing them.

"The rover's Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) and Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instruments received portions of the sample on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 22 and 23, respectively, and began inspecting the powder," NASA explained.

The results of the analysis should start coming in over the next few days and weeks. Scientists have an idea of what to expect, but there could always be surprises.
Curiosity's sample processing and analysis tool, as seen by the rover's Mast Camera
   Curiosity's sample processing and analysis tool, as seen by the rover's Mast Camera
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