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What "Earth-Shaking" Discovery Has Curiosity Made on Mars?

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the taxpayers-will-die-while-NASA-teases dept.

Mars 544

Randym writes "NASA scientists have some exciting new results from one of the rover's instruments. On the one hand, they'd like to tell everybody what they found, but on the other, they have to wait because they want to make sure their results are not just some fluke or error in their instrument. The exciting results are coming from an instrument in the rover called SAM. 'We're getting data from SAM as we sit here and speak, and the data looks really interesting,' says John Grotzinger. He's the principal investigator for the rover mission. SAM (Sample Analysis at Mars) is a suite of instruments onboard NASA's Mars Science Laboratory rover, Curiosity. Grotzinger says they recently put a soil sample in SAM, and the analysis shows something Earth-shaking. 'This data is gonna be one for the history books. It's looking really good,' he says."

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544 comments

I really hope... (0, Redundant)

thestudio_bob (894258) | about a year and a half ago | (#42041393)

I really hope that they actually have something this time and it's not another "science" flop.

Re:I really hope... (4, Insightful)

aldousd666 (640240) | about a year and a half ago | (#42041429)

It may yet be a scientific triumph, but a public opinion flop. Or a thestudio_bob flop.

Re:I really hope... (4, Insightful)

jythie (914043) | about a year and a half ago | (#42041497)

That seems likely. A public fed on movies tends to not think real world discoveries are exciting enough.

Re:I really hope... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42041765)

Moon landing. Decades after it happened, lots of people have a hard time believing it actually happened.

Re:I really hope... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42041961)

Those people are retards though and shouldnt be counted for anything.

Re:I really hope... (5, Funny)

somersault (912633) | about a year and a half ago | (#42041453)

I bet it turns out that Mars is made of:

Sugar, Glucose Syrup, Skimmed Milk Powder, Milk Fat, Vegetable Fat, Cocoa Butter, Cocoa Mass, Lactose, Demineralised Whey Powder, Fat Reduced Cocoa Powder, Barley Malt Extract, Soya Lecithin (E322), Salt, Egg White, Hydrolysed Milk Protein, Natural Vanilla Flavour

Re:I really hope... (-1, Redundant)

sycodon (149926) | about a year and a half ago | (#42041471)

Twinkis!

Obviously they are trying to build hype (5, Insightful)

iYk6 (1425255) | about a year and a half ago | (#42041419)

I predict that the results are accurate, but not nearly as exciting as NASA is trying to get us to believe.

Re:Obviously they are trying to build hype (5, Funny)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | about a year and a half ago | (#42041491)

>> This data is gonna be one for the history books

It turns out that new improved Choco-Pops are now more chocolatey than ever!

Re:Obviously they are trying to build hype (4, Funny)

gman003 (1693318) | about a year and a half ago | (#42041763)

Thanks to the newest data from Curiosity, NASA has finally determined, with 99% confidence, why kids love Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

Re:Obviously they are trying to build hype (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42041779)

This is at least the 10th response related to food. You guys hungry or something?

Re:Obviously they are trying to build hype (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42041605)

Remember NASA building excitement over "alien life [nationalgeographic.com]?"

Don't hold your breath on this one either.

It better be good this time. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42041707)

I love science but what NASA finds exciting and what normal Americans find exciting don't always overlap. If we get one more "breaking news" press conference about trace deposits of minerals on an uninteresting looking rock that need more testing I'm going to scream. Real science is good but most of the time it's not even close to exciting.

Come on NASA, keep sending me video and panoramic photos of Mars and get back to work.

None (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42041439)

"Mars Shaking?" Maybe. "Earth Shaking?" Not so much.

The have found more Mars faces (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42041445)

The original face of Mars actually was made and they have found other "alien"-made faces on Mars

Aliens? (3, Interesting)

Linsaran (728833) | about a year and a half ago | (#42041451)

If so, let me be the first to say I welcome our new martian overlords. Just please don't be the wussy kind of martians that die easilyto earth's microbial organisms.

Re:Aliens? (1)

nozzo (851371) | about a year and a half ago | (#42041941)

Seconded. and yes what a FAIL you'd have thought when they were making their green-mist powered screw-top capsules they'd have spared a thought for Earthly microbes.

Re:Aliens? (2)

cod3r_ (2031620) | about a year and a half ago | (#42042045)

PLEASEEEE BE ALIENS>>> if it's not aliens I will call it a dumb flob and join a religion so that I can say the entire thing is made up all the way up to mars doesn't even exist.

I'm on the edge of my seat... (2)

wildstoo (835450) | about a year and a half ago | (#42041457)

If this turns out to be some organic matter that accidentally made the trip to mars with the rover itself, I'll be very disappointed.

Also, whoever tagged the article with the misspelled "curiousity"... great job.

Re:I'm on the edge of my seat... (2)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year and a half ago | (#42041589)

Also, whoever tagged the article with the misspelled "curiousity"... great job.

That's the Martian spelling.

It's also common enough that its use as a tag can be justified (although it was most likely done in error, since there was no "curiosity" tag)

Rovergenic (1)

srussia (884021) | about a year and a half ago | (#42041601)

If this turns out to be some organic matter that accidentally made the trip to mars with the rover itself, I'll be very disappointed.

Brace yourself then. Whatever it is will probably be rovergenic. Heck, I reckon the most interesting thing on Mars right now is Curiosity itself!

Re:I'm on the edge of my seat... (2)

Cogita (1119237) | about a year and a half ago | (#42041805)

If this turns out to be some organic matter that accidentally made the trip to mars with the rover itself, I'll be very disappointed.

Also, whoever tagged the article with the misspelled "curiousity"... great job.

Now honestly, even if it's organic matter that made it over with the rover, if it's reproducing and surviving on the planet, that's plenty interesting news.

Turtles (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42041461)

Turtles all the way down.

Earth-shaking (3, Funny)

ByteSlicer (735276) | about a year and a half ago | (#42041467)

Earth-shaking? Well then it is obvious.

They found evidence of an earth quake. On Mars !!

Mars-quake (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42041853)

Marsquake, or simply 'quake - but not the game'.

The Chances of anything coming from Mars (5, Funny)

rossdee (243626) | about a year and a half ago | (#42041475)

Are a million to one he said...

I don't think we want them to discover something on Mars that actually shakes the earth

OOOOH-LAHHH

Re:The Chances of anything coming from Mars (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42041839)

But, still, they come....

water (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42041477)

We found something that looks like it could maybe be the remnants of something that would maybe only show up in an environment that had maybe been exposed to water!

 

Re:water (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42041977)

That's possible.

I mean, let's keep in mind that the definition of "one for the history books", for a space geek who's spent his entire working career on one or two missions to an easy to get to and agreeable planet, is probably different than that of the average denizen of /..

SAM Launch (4, Funny)

SrLnclt (870345) | about a year and a half ago | (#42041485)

It's a good thing Curiosity brought Surface to Air Missiles along on the trip to protect against an alien invasion of Mars.

Re:SAM Launch (1)

peragrin (659227) | about a year and a half ago | (#42041811)

Considering it is an earth shattering discovering those miisile might be needed to shoot down Marvin's rocket

Re:SAM Launch (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42041847)

Its to protect the rover from HAMAs rockets

Re:SAM Launch (1)

game kid (805301) | about a year and a half ago | (#42041899)

Nah, the NASA budget only allows for so many attributes of badass on one rover. They had to settle for its array of instruments and the whole landing process, hostile aliens be damned.

Granted, running headlong into a place possibly full of hostile creatures is arguably the ultimate in badass technology...

Please... (4, Funny)

WGFCrafty (1062506) | about a year and a half ago | (#42041505)

Please don t be a be a "Donald Trump" announcement.

"We're offering 5 million dollars to the charity of your choice if you can prove Mars accepted any of the vanquished troops Rome offered."

Chocolate (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42041507)

They have found chocolate. At least that's what I've found on the surface of every single Mars I've eaten.

Unsuprisingly cautious (4, Insightful)

Coisiche (2000870) | about a year and a half ago | (#42041509)

Wasn't the last "earth-shaking" announcement that of bacteria using arsenic instead of phosphorus in their molecular construction?

They'll want to be very sure about whatever it is before going public.

So much for checking the data first (3, Insightful)

SirGarlon (845873) | about a year and a half ago | (#42041511)

'This data is gonna be one for the history books. It's looking really good,' he says."

Way to go, Grotzinger. You've just totally undermined NASA's effort to keep their mouths shut until they've carefully checked the data.

Ocean mineral (5, Insightful)

greylion3 (555507) | about a year and a half ago | (#42041519)

Probably some mineral, that can only form on the bottom of an ocean.

Re:Ocean mineral (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42041725)

I'm betting it is an organic compound.

Bacteria. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42041523)

They've found positive evidence of bacterial microbes on Mars.

Re:Bacteria. (1)

hcs_$reboot (1536101) | about a year and a half ago | (#42041577)

I'll rather go for a fossil (of a ~bacteria)

Re:Bacteria. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42041739)

Is the analysis machine sophisticated enough to determine such things? Assume I'm an idiot, I am after all an AC.

Re:Bacteria. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42042053)

That would probably set back a manned Mars landing by years since you would have to worry about infection and contamination.

Primitive DNA (2)

dywolf (2673597) | about a year and a half ago | (#42041533)

And then watch how fast and quickly they boost NASA's budget.

Re:Primitive DNA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42041827)

Maybe, but just as likely they'll reduce their budget to zero to stop them from promoting anti-science pro-evolutionary religious bullshit. I don't think you understand congress' motivations, or their concept of "science".

Ice Ice Baby (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42041563)

What else would it be?

A human interest story (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42041597)

We may have found something on Mars so I told my wife and kids about it.

Such an ambiguous sensationalist headline (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42041607)

Such an ambiguous sensationalist headline and summary need not be on /.

Lightspeed (3, Insightful)

Lord Lode (1290856) | about a year and a half ago | (#42041693)

I really hope this isn't going to be like the faster-than-lightspeed-discovery that was an intrument error!

So feel free to double check the instruments!

Mirrored exploration (5, Funny)

Nationless (2123580) | about a year and a half ago | (#42041695)

I'm hoping for Evil Curiosity which has a goatee and has been sent by a world mirroring our world in almost every way. Except they're all evil. Although somewhere on that planet will be a mirror version of me.. but.. er.. without a goatee?

Fossils! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42041701)

I know what it is. My brother's friend's wife's uncle works for NASA. They found fossils! And Jimmy Hoffa.

They found LIFF (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42041741)

martians had forgotten a book there which is totally liff

Either it's life or overeager techies (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42041743)

"One for the history books" means life. Remember how important it was that one of the two earlier rovers found surface water by getting a wheel stuck in the mud? Remember how big a story that was? That is not getting into the history books. The most likely alternate possibility is that the techies are overblowing the importance of this because it is a big thing in their world.

Given the description of the instrument [nasa.gov], it is likely that they got a successful result from a Viking-style experiment [wikipedia.org] which they are taking as evidence for life.

For the results to truly be Earth-shaking, they have to have found Marvin the Martian's Illudium Q-36 space modulator.

Re:Either it's life or overeager techies (5, Informative)

cplusplus (782679) | about a year and a half ago | (#42041923)

Remember how important it was that one of the two earlier rovers found surface water by getting a wheel stuck in the mud? Remember how big a story that was? That is not getting into the history books

That didn't get in to the history books because that didn't happen. Spirit got stuck in sand. Very dry sand. The Phoenix lander at the pole saw visible water ice after scraping the surface with a tool, only to see that ice sublimate. Some satellite evidence hints at possible subsurface flows of brine, but that has yet to be confirmed.

Vandalism (3, Funny)

AshFan (879808) | about a year and a half ago | (#42041753)

While taking another picture of itself, it noticed that something has slapped a "Barsoom" bumpersticker on the fender.

You should already know! (3, Funny)

RobertNotBob (597987) | about a year and a half ago | (#42041787)

Awe, come on , guys...

We've known for 40 years what comes from Mars and shakes the earth...

It's the "Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator".

Marvin has been searching for YEARS for that darned thing; ever since Buggs was able to get it away from him. Let's hope that he's not looking at the news today.

Cplonel Sanders moment.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42041807)

They found a Chicken bone... I bet !

Weapons of mass destruction (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42041831)

They found weapons of mass destruction. Now they get the resources to send a complete army to Mars.

They finally found... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42041875)

The real contents of Al Capone's safe.

Finally! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42041881)

They found the Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator.

Gate plz (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42041893)

Please be a Stargate. Please be a Stargate.

(sorry, but i still miss that show)

Earth shattering? (3, Interesting)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year and a half ago | (#42041935)

Should be evidence of life, something not so surprising. But could be even more shattering to find that we are actually martians that come here very long ago escaping from the climate change that we caused on Mars (even that we Marsformed Earth back then).

Connected discoveries (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42041951)

An arrow of time that points... the other way...

Previous Human Civilization Discovered! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42041963)

Age old 'Black Friday' adds have been discovered on Mars.

It turns out the entire population trampled itself into extinction!

Your Welcome.

Microbes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42041987)

It is more than possible that microbes or some new form of bacteria that exists within the soil ergo life on mars. not sentient life but life nonetheless.

Curiosty struck Oil (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42042011)

How fast can BP start drilling? Let the space race begin.

Punny fun! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42042015)

Inb4 announcement about seismic activity potentially facilitating liquid water on Mars.

Oh, come on! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42042023)

Where's K'Breel when you need him?

Arsenic Based Life (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42042043)

This time its for real.

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