June 24, 2018

Nasa prepares for big announcement about search for alien life on Mars

08 June 2018, 07:00 | Edward Lowe

But according to the announcement made by the agency, they will have a live discussion and feature "new science results from NASA's Mars Curiosity rover".

"A fundamental question for this mission is whether Mars could have supported a habitable environment", Michael Meyer, lead scientist for NASA's Mars Exploration Program at the agency's headquarters in Washington, said in 2013 following the findings.

The drill bit of NASA's Curiosity Mars rover over one of the sample inlets on the rover's deck. On Monday, NASA announced the procedure went as planned and the machine is now ready to continue its task.

Curiosity has been exploring Mars since touching down in August 2012 with the goal of finding out if the red planet was ever able to support microbial life.

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During the announcement, you'll hear from two scientists who work at at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, along with two researchers from its Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California.

That being said, NASA will also webcast Thursday's Curiosity Mars rover press conference on the official NASA TV channel, along with Facebook Live, Twitch TV, YouTube, Ustream and Twitter/Periscope.

However, the rover had to pass one more hurdle and move the rock powder from its drill into its internal lab.

The next step to making the rover fully operational again was the analysis of the said rock sample, in the form of Martian powder, inside the rover's two laboratories.

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"This was no small feat".

"The science team was confident that the engineers would deliver - so confident that we drove back to a site that we missed drilling before. The gambit paid off, and we finally have an integral sample we've not gotten", Vasavada mentioned. "JPL's engineers needed to improvise a brand new method for the rover to drill stones on Mars following a mechanical difficulty took the drill in December 2016". Surprisingly, we had the opportunity after five years of the mission.

On May 20 this year, a technique called "feed extended drilling" enabled Curiosity to drill its first rock sample because October 2016 and on May 31, 2018, an additional technique called "feed extended sample transfer" trickled stone powder into the rover in a way that achieved the desired outcome. "It means we can resume studying Mount Sharp, which Curiosity is climbing, with our full range of scientific tools".

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