The Curiosity rover has analyzed Martian soil for the first time ever.
Among the findings from the first study of Martian soil, Curiosity found that dirt on Mars contains water, sulfur and chlorine-containing substances. While the discovery isn't as historical as the unearthing of little grey aliens, it's still a pretty big deal for the Curiosity rover.
Last month, principal investigator for the rover mission John Grotzinger said during a radio interview that the data coming back from Curiosity was "one for the history books". That statement got a lot of NASA followers thinking that the Mars rover had found organic life on Mars.
Of course, NASA quickly put the kibosh on that idea with the new announcements. Sulfur isn't life on mars, but it does proof that Curiosity can be a very effective tool on the red planet.
Curiosity uses an advanced onboard lab called Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) to define the red planets sand. SAM heats samples to 800 degrees Celsius and then examines the gases that lift from the heat.
The results from SAM prove that Curiosity can do its job while up in space. Meaning, while Curiosity hasn't found anything "for the history books" yet it still has all the tools do so in the future.
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