NASA has confirmed that there is organic material on Mars and has indicated that it "misinterpreted" the words of the mission's principal investigator Curiosity, John Grotzinger, who last week claimed that the U.S. space agency had an announcement "that would change the books of history.” Grotzinger himself has said that the media "misunderstood" his words.
Thus, the NASA experts have put an end to the expectations that had been created around the Fall Congress of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), which opened Monday in San Francisco, where he was to perform the course announcement finding life on Mars.
So, finally, what has made public the space agency is, what we already knew, that Curiosity has analyzed, for the first time, the Martian soil with its sophisticated battery of instruments and has been found in the area known as 'Rocknest' , a complex involving chemical elements such as water, sulfur or chlorine.
During the conference, scientists have noted that the mission is still in an early stage, so that they are not able to confirm the presence of organic material. "We do have a lot of work with this material. Need to be very careful. Could have been degraded organic material by solar ultraviolet radiation," he noted during the conference Grotzinger.
They have also pointed out that the detection of substances during this first stage is being used to test the ability of the laboratory and instruments.
For this reason, the conference hosted by NASA has focused on enlarging some of the mechanisms carrying Curiosity. The expert from the Goddard Space Flight Center of NASA, Paul Mahaffy, explained that measurements were made with the three instruments of the SAM (the analyzer samples the rover) and identified several gases, water vapor and oxygen in small percentages.
The remains of water are much higher than those that throw the Earth's ancient oceans and also appreciated the presence of oxygen and sulfur. "But few organic compounds," insisted the scientist.
Calm Within the message launched by NASA, Grotzinger held a glimmer of hope ensuring that NASA is using all its science instruments to examine samples of Mars facing the "main target" of the mission, Mount Sharp ".