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Organic Molecules on Mars? Maybe.
12-04-2012, 08:47 AM
Post: #1
Organic Molecules on Mars? Maybe.
Quote:Mars Curiosity Finds Organic Molecules, But From Mars, Earth Or Space?

NASA’s Mars Curiosity Rover on Monday announced big news from the results of its first global soil sample analysis (soil representative of the entire Red Planet): It’s found chlorinated methane compounds, molecules containing carbon, a necessary tell-tale sign and byproduct of life. The problem is, NASA still isn’t sure whether the carbon has come from Mars, outer space, or Earth itself.

The Curiosity Rover’s Sample Analysis on Mars (SAM) instrument suite, the main analysis kit aboard the rover, “has made a detection of simple organic compounds,” said Curiosity’s project scientist John Grotzinger in a NASA teleconference streamed online Monday, from the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) in San Francisco.

“We don’t know if they are indigenous to Mars or not,” Grotziner said, later noting it “could be material that comes from the cosmos.”

Grotzinger went on to explain that although the SAM instrument was “performing perfectly well,” the the simple organic molecules it detected may have hitched a ride from Earth to the Red Planet aboard the rover’s instruments.

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Organic Molecules on Mars? Maybe. #1 - azmouse - 12-04-2012, 08:47 AM
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