The News From Mars is Earthshaking!By Michael Frank on November 21st, 2012
Mars Science Laboratory’s John Grotzinger is a big tease. The lead investigator for the team operating the Surface Analysis at Mars instrument told National Public Radio today that early results from a soil sample produced something “earthshaking,” but he won’t say exactly what. “This data is gonna be one for the history books,” he said. “It’s looking really good.” Speculation is that’s it’s the presence of organic molecules — a big part of SAM’s mission is hunting for organics, and it’s able to detect them at lower level than any instruments yet sent to the red planet. Life is impossible without such molecules, though they can exist without life. The MSL team is checking and rechecking the data before it will announce its findings, probably within a couple weeks. Via io9.