Mars rover Curiosity is on a mission to investigate Mars’ past ability to support microbial life. Exploration began when Curiosity touched down on the floor of 154 kilometer wide Gale Crater in August 2012. It didn’t take long for Curiosity core samples to indicate Gale Crater could have supported a habitable lake and stream system in the ancient past. At the centre of Gale, Mount Sharp rises 5.5 kilometers above the Martian surface. Curiosity reached the base of Mt. Sharp in September 2014. Curiosity set a course for the summit, collecting core samples along the way. All good until late 2016 when Curiosity lost the use of her robotic drill.
NASA engineers worked tirelessly to find a solution. On February 26, 2018 a test fix culminated in Curiosity boring a 1.3 centimeter deep hole. A few adjustments later the little rover that could drilled without hesitation.
This week NASA made a curious announcement. On Thursday June 7, 2018 at 2 pm EDT a live news conference will reveal something Curiosity discovered on Mars.
“The space agency revealed few details about what will be announced Thursday, but the “live discussion” will feature “new science results from NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover,” according to a NASA announcement. Why all the secrecy? “The results are embargoed by the journal Science until then,” NASA wrote in the statement.
That means NASA won’t release any details until the press conference, which is scheduled for 2 p.m. EDT (1800 GMT) on Thursday. You can watch the Mars announcement live on Space.com, courtesy of NASA TV. The space agency did reveal the list of scientists who will be discussing the Mars discovery. [See Curiosity’s Greatest Mars Discoveries (So Far)]