NASA has been probing on Mars for more than five decades. Currently, its Curiosity rover is conducting scientific experiments on the Red Planet. Amid that busy schedule, NASA’s Curiosity rover has paused to have a selfie. It’s really 57 images stitched together from its location in the Glen Etive region, captured on October 11. Behind the probe, there is a view including its previous locations, like Vera Rubin Ridge and the northern rim of Gale Crater.
On 24th September, Curiosity had carried out a unique chemistry experiment that included placing powdered samples from one of the nearby drill sites into a portable lab comprising 74 cups where it tests the samples. As the cups heat-up samples, a tool called SAM detects the gases that are produced in order to help researchers shed light on Mars’ distant past. According to NASA, among the 74 cups, nine are filled with solvents that have made wet chemistry experiments possible. Scientists have had to reserve these solvent-filled cups for the times when conditions are near to perfect. It means that only one previous wet test has taken place. The solvent-filled cups make it possible for SAM to crunch the details.
Paul Mahaffy, principal investigator of the portable lab at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, said they have been eager to discover a region that would be powerful enough to perform wet chemistry. He added now they are in the clay-bearing unit, they have finally achieved it. NASA says the outcomes of this wet chemistry experiment would be available in the upcoming year. It is the first time the rover has drilled a sample and placed it in a wet chemistry cup. Before this, wet chemistry experiments have used sand. Paul said SAM’s data is extremely difficult and takes time to translate. Still, researchers at the facility are eager to see what they can learn from this new location on Mars.