Curiosity gets the dirt on Mars

Rover completes analysis of first soil collected from Gale Crater

By Beth Mole, 14:44 PM September 26, 2013

Whiffs of chemicals found in rocket fuel, a dark pyramid that resembles rare volcanic rocks on Earth and glassy particles bearing traces of water are among the Curiosity rover’s finds in its first chemical investigation of Martian dirt.

“This is the first time we’ve known precisely and definitively what this stuff is made of,” says astrobiologist David Blake of the NASA Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif. He and his colleagues report the results of the analysis September 26 in Scienc...

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