Curiosity continues to puzzle scientists


19/10/2012

American Curiosity rover continues to conduct successful research on the surface of the Red Planet, and never ceases to present to scientists more and more puzzles. According to information from NASA, the unit, which on 6 August this year landed on Mars, the first to use this week, an instrument designed for the chemical analysis of minerals, and found a strange piece of rock.

"We have already moved to one of the most important parts of our program - the use of the device" Khimin ", which is already in the first sample was loaded," - said John Groutsinger, a researcher at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena. The device, as explained Groutsinger allows the use of X-ray diffraction method for the study of minerals - the most accurate of all, particularly applied to Mars. Through these results, it will determine the environmental conditions in which minerals were formed.

The researcher said that the soil sample is not larger than a small pharmaceutical tablet was taken rover on a small patch, called formerly "Stone Nest". To reach it, Curiosity has done from the landing path length of about 500 meters. There he means robotic arm dug up the unusual white sand grain diameter of one millimeter, stands out sharply against the Martian soil reddish color. It will be studied by means of a chemical laser, spectroscope and other devices installed in the science lab weighing 74 kilograms, placed on the "back" rover.

Earlier it was reported that Curiosity discovered a mineral rich in potassium and sodium, which was just a surprise to scientists. Martian rock, according to them, like feldspar is widespread in the world and, in all likelihood, is of volcanic origin. U.S. experts say that something like this can also be found in the Hawaiian Islands.

Curiosity will run for two years on Mars in Gale Crater. The main purpose of the expedition - to discover whether there were once on the Red Planet conditions for the emergence and spread of organisms. The project cost NASA $ 2.5 billion.


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