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Curiosity drilled out a sample from a slab of bedrock and immediately hit pay dirt. The analysis showed it contained six elements needed for microbial life hydrogen, carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, sulfur and phosphorus plus water that had not been too acidic or too salty.
After a month hiatus due to a communications blockage by the sun, Curiosity last month drove about nine feet (2.7 meters) and drilled into a second mudstone. Analysis of that sample is pending, deputy project scientist Joy Crisp from Michael Kors Jet Set East West NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, told reporters on a conference call on Wednesday.
Even by the most direct route with minimal stops, Curiosity drive to the base of Mount Sharp will take 10 months to a year, said project manager Jim Erickson from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Instead of heading directly to Mount Sharp, scientists wanted to explore an area in the opposite direction where images from orbit showed three different types of rocks coming together.
around and go back and check it out, but there nothing that we see from orbit that like some super compelling clue to life or something like that, Crisp said.
On Monday, scientists sent commands for the rover to turn around and begin driving toward the base of Mount Sharp, located about five miles (eight km) southwest of its present position.
The older layers of the planet are at the base of Mount Sharp. Rocks at higher elevations contain chemical information about later climates.
Ten months ago the rover landed inside a giant impact basin near the planet Michael Kors Jet Set Signature
friendly habitats heads to mountain
That doesn leave much time for mountain climbing and analysis during the rover primary two year mission, but with its early discoveries at Yellowknife Bay, Curiosity already has answered the key question about whether Mars was suitable for microbial life.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. NASA Mars rover Curiosity is on the road toward Mount Sharp, the primary target of a planned two year mission to search for habitats that could have supported Michael Kors Shoulder Bag With Chain
It will be a slow and circuitous journey. At least three stops for science studies are planned, including measurements to determine how much drier the region gets as Curiosity moves away from the low lying Yellowknife Bay where it conducted its early investigations.
equator, a site selected because of the 3 mile high (5 km high) mound of layered rock rising from the crater floor.
like looking at layers of the Grand Canyon, Crisp said.
trying to read the record in the rocks to figure out what the environment was like when those rocks were forming, Crisp added.
going to keep our eyes open as we drive and if we in fact drive past something that amazing, we might actually turn Michael Kors Hamilton Royal Blue
What lures scientists to the mountain is a mineral map, compiled by orbital reconnaissance, showing chemical variations from base to summit. Scientists believe the mineral changes reflect and record transitions in Mars environment from a warm and wet past to the cold, dry desert that appears today.
life, officials said on Wednesday.
we have is a real desire to get to Mount Sharp, she added.
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