NASA To Reveal Contents Of Drilled Martian Rock - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

NASA To Reveal Contents Of Drilled Martian Rock

Posted: Updated:

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The Mars rover Curiosity drilled into its first rock a month ago. Now scientists will reveal what's inside.

Gathering at NASA headquarters Tuesday, the rover team will detail the minerals and chemicals found in a pinch of ground-up rock.

The results come seven months after Curiosity made a dramatic landing in an ancient crater near the equator. It has been slow going since then as engineers learn to handle the car-size rover, which is far more tech-savvy than anything that has landed before on the red planet

While previous Mars spacecraft carried tools to grind into rocks, Curiosity was the first to collect a pulverized sample from deep inside. The complex exercise — played out over several weeks — involved boring a hole 2 ½ inches deep, sifting the powder and running it through its onboard laboratories.

By analyzing the crushed rock, researchers hope to determine whether the landing spot ever had the right conditions to support primitive life in the form of microscopic organisms. They already have one hint of a watery past — an ancient streambed that Curiosity crossed to get to the flat bedrock, a pit stop to its ultimate destination.

Over the years, Mars spacecraft in orbit and on the surface have beamed back a wealth of information about the planet's geology. Scientists have also been able to examine pieces of rocks from Mars that have occasionally landed on Earth. Several places on Mars — now a frigid desert — show evidence of a warmer and wetter environment early in the planet's history.

One of the main reasons Curiosity was sent to Gale Crater was because images from space spied signs of clay layers at the base of a mountain. The rover was supposed to start the trek there before the new year, but instrument checks took longer than expected.

Despite a pokey start, scientists have been pleased with the mission. The biggest problem to plague Curiosity so far is computer-related, preventing it from doing science experiments for several days.

HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • National NewsMore>>

  • Mad Minute stories from Friday, May 26th

    Mad Minute stories from Friday, May 26th

    Saturday, May 27 2017 2:00 AM EDT2017-05-27 06:00:13 GMT

    Here are the extended versions of the KHQ Local News 11 at 11 Mad Minute stories from Friday, May 26th.

    More >>

    Here are the extended versions of the KHQ Local News 11 at 11 Mad Minute stories from Friday, May 26th.

    More >>
  • $10,000 bill for getting car stuck in newly poured concrete

    $10,000 bill for getting car stuck in newly poured concrete

    Saturday, May 27 2017 1:02 AM EDT2017-05-27 05:02:32 GMT
    (Mike Palm, The City of Lincoln Public Works and Utilities Department via AP)(Mike Palm, The City of Lincoln Public Works and Utilities Department via AP)

    LINCOLN, Neb,. (AP) - A driver could be facing a $10,000 bill after he plowed into newly poured concrete in Lincoln, Nebraska, and became stuck.      The accident occurred Wednesday on a portion of a road repair project in the state capital. Police spokeswoman Angela Sands said Friday that police won't cite the driver, 19-year-old Shadrach Yasiah. A police incident report says it wasn't obvious that the concrete wasn't dry and that Yasiah 

    More >>

    LINCOLN, Neb,. (AP) - A driver could be facing a $10,000 bill after he plowed into newly poured concrete in Lincoln, Nebraska, and became stuck.      The accident occurred Wednesday on a portion of a road repair project in the state capital. Police spokeswoman Angela Sands said Friday that police won't cite the driver, 19-year-old Shadrach Yasiah. A police incident report says it wasn't obvious that the concrete wasn't dry and that Yasiah 

    More >>
  • Russian bankers sue BuzzFeed over unverified Trump dossier

    Russian bankers sue BuzzFeed over unverified Trump dossier

    Friday, May 26 2017 9:02 PM EDT2017-05-27 01:02:03 GMT

    NEW YORK (AP) - The owners of a Russian bank are suing BuzzFeed for publishing an uncorroborated dossier that alleged they were part of a Russian scheme to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Mikhail Fridman, Petr Aven and German Khan of Alfa Bank filed the defamation lawsuit Friday in Manhattan. They are seeking unspecified damages from BuzzFeed, editor-in-chief Ben Smith, reporter Ken Bensinger and editors Miriam Elder and Mark Schoofs. The ...

    More >>

    NEW YORK (AP) - The owners of a Russian bank are suing BuzzFeed for publishing an uncorroborated dossier that alleged they were part of a Russian scheme to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Mikhail Fridman, Petr Aven and German Khan of Alfa Bank filed the defamation lawsuit Friday in Manhattan. They are seeking unspecified damages from BuzzFeed, editor-in-chief Ben Smith, reporter Ken Bensinger and editors Miriam Elder and Mark Schoofs. The ...

    More >>