NASA has taken it upon itself to make sure we’re not all getting too excited about the possibility of life on Mars, stepping in today to let everyone know that the Curiosity Rover has not found organic molecules — which could indicate the presence of organic life in the planet’s history — on the Red Planet.
The space agency felt obliged to clear the air after a lot of folks — yours truly included — got really quite excited over an NPR story that described recent findings by Curiosity’s SAM chemistry module as “for the history books. Turns out, our interpretation may have been overselling it a bit. For that, we apologize. It’s just that get get excited sometimes, and hope you understand. NASA will make the official (and yeah, slightly disappointing) update at a press conference next Monday at 9 am PST/noon Eastern, and you can join us right here for the live stream.
Everybody, chill. After careful analysis, there are no Martian organics in recent samples. Update Dec 3 go.nasa.gov/114tJs9
— Curiosity Rover (@MarsCuriosity) November 29, 2012
NASA staff are also quick to point out that Curiosity not finding organic molecules so far is really no big deal. After all, it’s in just the fourth month of a two year mission to Mars — and if its long-lived cousin Spirit is any indication, that mission could potentially much longer. In other words, Curiosity barely has its lasers warmed up yet, folks, so lets give it a little time to breathe. Considering how well the Curiosity team seems to understand and use social media, we can be pretty sure that when the Rover does find the next big thing — whatever that may be — we’ll all know about it in short order.
- We really, really want to know what they’re doing up there
- These iron “blueberries” could be something even stranger than they sound
- Curiosity isn’t the only thing keeping an eye on Mars, either