Photos: Mars rover Curiosity
February 20th, 2013
06:35 PM ET

Mars rover drills, sees planet's true colors

By Elizabeth Landau, CNN

Mars may have a lot of orangey dust flying around, but now that a rover has retrieved a sample by drilling a rock there, scientists believe the Red Planet may have another color beneath the surface.

The two-ton Mars rover Curiosity, which has been exploring Gale Crater since its miraculous landing on August 6, has become the first robot to drill into a rock to collect a sample on Mars, scientists reported Wednesday. Chemical analyses are still to come, but for now the big news is that the material from the drill appears to be gray.

"We’re sort of seeing a new coloration for Mars here, and it’s an exciting one to us," said Joel Hurowitz, sampling system scientist for Curiosity at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Confirmation came in Wednesday that the sample from the drill made it into Curiosity's scoop, said Scott McCloskey, rover planner and drill systems engineer for Curiosity. Images straight from Mars show the rover's drill was able to acquire about a tablespoon of powder as it was boring down into the rock. The depth of the drill hole is 6.4 centimeters (2.5 inches).

"You can probably bet that when things turn orange, it’s because there’s a rusting process of some kind going on that oxidizes the iron in the rock," Hurowitz said.

Mars rover spots shiny objects

The gray color may mean the rock the rover drilled did not go through this process, Hurowitz said. That may be good news for looking for evidence of past life, because chemistry involving oxidation destroys organic compounds, said John Grotzinger, principal investigator for the rover mission. But, although organics are associated with life, there are also nonlife organics, and organics aren't always preserved over time.

"Right now we’re on the pathway to hopefully characterizing this place as a habitable environment," Grotzinger said.

The rocks are sort of a "time capsule" because they are potentially ancient objects that contain a record of the environment in which they were formed, said Hurowitz. Getting underneath these materials, which may have been affected by the planet's surface environment, is "a really fantastic capability that the Curiosity drill gives us."

"We were well centered in a large plate of bedrock where we knew we could place the drill into a stable location on an interesting rock," Hurowitz said.

The drill did not specifically target the veins or nodular features apparent in this kind of bedrock but it's "hard to imagine" that they would have been missed entirely, he said.

Scientists need to see results from a chemical analysis of the sample to understand it better, but one theory is that this rock could have once been underwater, Hurowitz said.

Rover finds evidence of ancient water on Mars

The successful usage of the drill marks the final check-out of Curiosity's elaborate suite of instruments.

Back on Earth, however, scientists have encountered a potential problem in one of two terrestrial copies of the CHIMRA instrument, which NASA's Daniel Limonadi describes as a "martini mixer on the spacecraft."

CHIMRA has a sieve that filters out material that is bigger than 150 micrometers, because the CheMin instrument needs tiny particles for its X-ray diffraction work. One of the Earth-based units, the "edge welds are popping and slowly unziping the sieve from the primary structure in CHIMRA over time," Limonadi said.

The same problem has not been observed on its Martian counterpart, or in the second copy of CHIMRA.

What we've done on Mars, and what's next

Scientists have several theories about why this is happening, but there's no established root cause, Limonadi said. However, it's important to note that this copy of CHIMRA has been used more than Curiosity's CHIMRA unit will be used during its two-year prime mission.

Rover planners are taking precautions just in case the CHIMRA sieve on Mars is vulnerable. For example, they've reduced the sieving time of material in this instrument to expose it to less wear and tear, Limonadi said.

Sieving is the next step for the gray powder recovered from the drill. It will then be fed to the CheMin and SAM instruments to gain more insights about the geological history and potential habitability of Mars, Hurowitz said.

Previous analyses by Curiosity instruments determined that white veins seen in this kind of rock are made of calcium sulfate. The rover will soon use its chemistry experiments to see the full composition of the gray stuff found by the drill.

"Stay tuned, results are coming shortly," Hurowitz said.

More: Mars rover driver leaves the steering wheel

Post by:
Filed under: In Space • Mars • News
soundoff (319 Responses)
  1. Kenneth Fingerman

    Amazing technology coming together! Way to bring new discoveries home!

    March 11, 2013 at 9:16 pm |
  2. rolandrog

    Mars looks like some land I just sold in Nevada.

    March 6, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
  3. Cal Newlan

    Faith in God must come before faith in science.

    February 24, 2013 at 9:15 pm |
    • Joshua dj

      True that, buddy, true that.

      February 24, 2013 at 10:05 pm |
      • WHY U SO STUPID

        whats the mars rover???

        February 25, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
    • Patrick Nicholson

      The only difference is that Science isn't something you have "faith" in. Your imaginary sky-wizard is what you have faith in.

      February 25, 2013 at 11:36 am |
      • WHY U SO STUPID

        I SEEN UR GIRL SHE HAS A BLUE WAFFLE GOOD LUCK WITH THAT

        February 25, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
      • WHY U SO STUPID

        HOW OLD ARE U

        February 25, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
      • hudor tunnel

        i dont think so that religion is the only thing having that "faith" you mean
        in science, man has that kind of "faith" , that is, faith in his reason
        man has faith in his reason which accounts for his pursuit to know about many things observable and beyond observable :-)

        July 21, 2013 at 9:35 am |
    • Pliny

      Go away and take your supersticions with you.

      February 25, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
    • Chris

      God isn't real. Sorry to break it to you.

      February 26, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
  4. Steve Kasian

    The following quote from the article is the fundamental problem with NASA: " 'Right now we’re on the pathway to hopefully characterizing this place as a habitable environment,' Grotzinger said."

    HOPEFULLY CHARACTERIZING THIS PLACE AS HABITABLE.

    Good science is achieved by taking a completely neutral approach; by going into study and experimentation with a completely open mind, having no "hopes" or "dreams". Grotzinger himself said that they are "hopeful" that they can characterize Mars as a habitable environment. This goes against a core tenet of science. NASA scientists approach every question with the full weight of the hopes and dreams of what they WANT to be the true being at the forefront of their investigation. So instead of bringing to bear every resource available to find truth through neutrality, they squander precious resources by putting weight on activities that are most likely to give them the results they WANT rather than evenly distributing those resources to find UNBIASED TRUTH.

    In light of this, it's no surprise that NASA is as the forefront of the PR game behind advancement of the Global Warming industry agenda. They WANT it to be true and spend more time trying to MAKE it true than they do getting to the UNBIASED TRUTH. And they continue to do this with Gobal Warming even while their hopes and dreams steadily crumble around them under weight of cold, hard evidence and scientific FACT.

    I love JPL to death, but NASA... you need to just get out of the way and let REAL scientists find the answers. You cannot find the truth when more effort is put into denying that truth than confirming it.

    February 24, 2013 at 8:57 pm |
    • WHY U SO STUPID

      .......IM SOOOO BORED READING THIS CRAP.....(FALLS ASLEEP AND SLOBBERS ON COMPUTER AND BLOWS UP)....(WAKE UP).... FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU

      February 25, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
  5. Ken

    There is no probe on Mars. There is no Mars. There are no planets. This isn't happening. You aren't reading this.

    February 24, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
    • Joshua See

      There is a probe on Mars. Mars is. There are planets. This is happening. I am to reading this!

      February 24, 2013 at 10:08 pm |
  6. palintwit

    Someday we will be able to exile all birthers, teabaggers, and Sarah Palin loving trailer trash to a detention colony on Mars. They will be allowed to keep their assault weapons so that they can blow their own brains out while drinking Everclear from mason jars.

    February 24, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
    • SillyLibs

      Who drinks Everclear from a jar? Do you mean moonshine?

      February 24, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
    • B

      Great idea, although I think the British tried that with that little colony in Australia...

      February 24, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
      • Slayer

        And a great place it was, while whites ran it.

        It's now in the process of becoming yet another mulit-cult thought control wasteland.

        February 24, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
      • WHY U SO STUPID

        WHAT DOES B STAND FOR

        February 25, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
    • Kei

      no need to send them to Mars. They can stay and finish destroying the earth, only the most tolerant, accepting and grateful people can colonize Mars. It will be for the evolved persons, which Republicans are nowhere close to being of.

      February 24, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
      • Slayer

        "Tolerance" and its evil cohort, "diversity," can have no place in the colonization of space.

        The last thing you want to do to a newly-discovered world is inflict blacks and browns on it.

        February 24, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
    • jorge busch

      im an upstanding citizen who loves shooting assault rifles and drinking moonshine out of mason jars
      why the hate bro

      February 24, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
    • johnjon33

      promises, promises.

      February 24, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
    • john

      Why all the hate? The evolution of humanity relies on the cooperation of individuals, which will always inherently have differences. Just as the beauty of science is discovering the unknown, so is it that the adventure of an evolving humanity is active cooperation. As a wise man once said, "He who is without sin cast the first stone." Now, can't we just express our mutual excitement and anxious anticipation of what we might find next? I hope so, because this shtuff is awesome!

      February 24, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
  7. kimwilliamgordon

    I have a simple solution for the lunatic fringe nutcases who don't believe in science
    .
    From now on, you have no access to all of the innovations that technology and science has brought you.

    You lose your 36" TV, your central heat and a/c, your computer, your internet, your electricity, your indoor plumbing, refrigeration and anything invented within the last 200 years. Prior to that, it’s all yours. Go back to pit toilets and wood fired fireplaces (another technology, but I’ll give you a break). Grow your own food (if you can).

    You lose all access to modern transportation (go back to horses and mules), and since you are essentially illiterate anyway, all of the wealth of information available to you from books – since the printing press was one of the most advanced and revolutionary technologies the planet has seen.

    And while we are at it, you no longer have any access to modern medical technologies. Go back to sin eaters and whirling dances to ward off evil spirits – those pesty demons who give you a cold.

    That way, in a generation, or less, we will finally be rid of all of you. You’ll all be dead from simple diseases that modern medical science could have cured, if you only believed in science.

    February 24, 2013 at 10:54 am |
    • yzz

      High Powered assault rifles? You can't give them that, it's a technology! Give them cudgels with nails sticking out of them.

      February 24, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
    • Joshua dj

      Who said anything about anyone not believing in science?
      ....geez kid

      February 24, 2013 at 9:59 pm |
    • heatmiser

      You forgot the mention the apex of human civilization, something no god-fearing government-hating American could do without: "Dancing with the Stars", "Pawn Stars", "American Idol", "Jersey Shore", anything with "the kardashians" in it. What good is this technology without art and culture to fill it?

      February 25, 2013 at 8:41 am |
    • WHY U SO STUPID

      NO ONE CARES ABOUT UR TV

      February 25, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
  8. Sam

    IT'S UNOBTAINIUM!! I can't believe it!

    February 24, 2013 at 10:49 am |
  9. sheikyerboutie

    Are those twist ties on the rover? Guess they ran out of zip ties

    February 24, 2013 at 10:37 am |
    • Joshua See

      Glad I'm not the only one who noticed that. Most likely they're made of some exotic materials, won't burn, melt, crack, or loosen in the first 8 million miles, cost more than their weight in gold, are absolutely, positively not _called_ twist ties.

      February 24, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
    • dennisjwalter

      Those are called lacings, they are made out of teflon or nylon sometimes waxed string (though I would think they would be teflon here). They are used extensively in aeronautics to keep wires from fraying. But the theory is the same as a twist tie, hold it together.

      February 24, 2013 at 6:27 pm |
  10. Alex

    characterizing this place as a habitable environment," Grotzinger said.
    -------------

    It's called WISHFUL thinking!! If it was inhabitable their would be life their already. Some kind of bugs or animals. It is nothing but a planet made of mostly rock.

    February 24, 2013 at 9:28 am |
    • Fur Ball

      Wishful thinking would be that you don't ever propagate.

      February 24, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
    • Chasee

      You obviously have no scientific knowledge. It's possible to recreate atmosphere if the variables still exist. It would take nearly 80 years to give the planet a liveable atmosphere but it is possible.

      February 24, 2013 at 6:27 pm |
  11. joey

    hey, lets spend another trillion !!!

    February 24, 2013 at 7:22 am |
    • Joe

      Hey, lets buy more doggy toys! After all, Americans spend more on their pets then whats in NASA's budget!

      February 24, 2013 at 9:12 am |
    • Josef Bleaux

      No. A trillion could be better spent killing more people in unnecessary wars.

      February 24, 2013 at 10:21 am |
    • Jt_flyer

      Everything we need is in the useless bible right idi0t?

      February 24, 2013 at 10:38 am |
    • Buckeye Nut Schell

      If we did spend another trillion (which we have not yet spent the first on Mars) then where would it go? Out into space? no, it would go to engineers and workers who would then buy houses and cars and widgets of all sorts from their neighbors who sold such things. Then where would it go? Taxes and more cars and more houses and more widgets until it found it's way to the rich who would store it away and let it stagnate. The is called monetary circulation. It is a good thing for the economic health of a nation.

      When the government uses money to bail out banks and the rich, it goes directly to the stagnation and therefor has no stimulating effect. If you gave Mitt Romney another million dollars, what would he buy that he couldn't already get if he so desired? Nothing. If you gave a thousand people a thousand dollars, how many would spend it and how many would save it? The vast majority would spend it and it would circulate for a time until it found it's way to some Mitt who would save it and stagnate the circulation.

      I say, let's go to Mars and spend a trillion or two doing so. The price would pay dividends in innovation and economic stimulous as opposed to economic stagnation.

      February 24, 2013 at 11:13 pm |
    • heatmiser

      The national budget in 2012 was $3.796 trillion. ($3,796,000,000,000) This program cost $2.5 billion ($2,500,000,000) at least that's the number I keep seeing here. That makes it .06% of the total budget of the US for 2012 (divide 2500000000 by 3796000000000 and multiply by 100) But I'm sure the cost was spread out over several years which makes it even less.

      To put this in terms math illiterates can understand:
      The average American makes $47,000 a year. .06% of that is $28.20. You wouldn't spend $28.20 on a project to possibly find evidence of life on another planet?

      February 25, 2013 at 8:54 am |
  12. joel

    one could assume then that the components in that surface coloring were still present in the martian geosphere and or atmosphere at the time of the last impact from a crater causing object due to the red coloring of the mars surface near visible impact sites, correct? Maybe then a good final resting maneuver for the rover would be to make such an abrasion revealing the grey interior and position the rovers solar panel and body to view the process of surface recoloring after other functionality has ceased.

    February 24, 2013 at 5:10 am |
  13. lolol

    lots of pseudo-scientists here...

    February 24, 2013 at 12:58 am |
  14. MartyR

    Final PROOF of inteligent life out there.....

    NO ONE HAS VISITED US.......

    February 24, 2013 at 12:06 am |
    • Sane Person

      My grandma has never visited me. I'm fairly certain she exists.

      February 24, 2013 at 6:37 am |
      • Gary

        She is presumably intelligent also.

        February 24, 2013 at 7:18 am |
  15. wireman

    Absolutely amazing to think that we see such detailed pictures from another planet!
    When you look at the scientific advances which have been made in the last 100 years, just imagine what may be discovered or possible in the next 100 years.

    February 23, 2013 at 8:26 pm |
    • Berry Riley

      Excellent observation. This is a wonder that I have a very hard time grasping.

      February 23, 2013 at 9:35 pm |
      • WHY U SO STUPID

        ARE U TRYING TO BE SMART BECAUSE I REMEBER U, U DROPPED OUT OF 1ST GRADE

        February 25, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
    • luvlar

      Very true. It's too bad we all can't be around 100 years from now. I bet what we're doing then will make the mars rovers look like sputnik.

      February 23, 2013 at 10:20 pm |
  16. .

    Let's see a little green guy come up and look into the lens. Now THAT will be a story!

    February 23, 2013 at 8:17 pm |
    • w l jones

      People on other planets look similar to us as well theirs cloth ...

      February 24, 2013 at 8:32 am |
      • Josef Bleaux

        Oh? So you've seen them? LOL

        February 24, 2013 at 10:22 am |
  17. james

    We hada get to Mars before the Ruskies, they may have a way to attack us from Mars, like War of the Worlds. Those commies are probably developing a flying saucer right now.

    February 23, 2013 at 7:42 pm |
    • ChanMac

      CommieS? W t f u been bro?

      February 23, 2013 at 8:09 pm |
      • phred

        Putin is a commie.

        February 23, 2013 at 10:10 pm |
  18. Cal Newlan

    I want them to find some strange fossil, or perhaps an alien pod that opens up and attacks the rover.

    February 23, 2013 at 7:34 pm |
  19. PyroGuy

    Check out Photo # 8.

    This proves that the martians ARE responsible for the crop circles on earth. We now know where they store them!

    February 23, 2013 at 7:27 pm |
  20. William Williamson

    Why was a 1909 penny used?

    February 23, 2013 at 6:09 pm |
    • Cal Newlan

      Why not? Any penny they used would have a date on it.

      February 23, 2013 at 7:13 pm |
    • skyy

      A penny was used for camera calibration. The date is insignificant. The coin is insignificant. Don't over think it.

      February 23, 2013 at 7:16 pm |
      • DUDEMAN

        The penny is not insignificant look it up.

        February 24, 2013 at 10:48 am |
    • Zoglet

      What THEY don't want you to know is that the rover has been on Mars since 1909!!!!
      probably.

      February 23, 2013 at 8:13 pm |
    • C. Allen

      Penny was chosen because most U.S. viewers and others too know how big one is so it's a good scale to figure out size of anything else in a picture with it. 1909 penny was used because that's the first year Lincoln pennies were minted (100th anniversary of Pres. Lincoln's birth).

      February 24, 2013 at 7:46 am |
  21. Daws

    Why in the world did they call the landing "miraculous"? That's sort of a slap in the face to the hard work of NASA making precise calculations, measurements, and endless hours of physics and engineering.

    February 23, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
    • Cimple

      That stood out to me as well. Reminded me of 'Miracle Metal'...

      February 23, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
    • Bob Jones

      Miraculous – adjective: Highly improbable and extraordinary and bringing very welcome consequences: "our miraculous escape".

      February 23, 2013 at 6:34 pm |
      • Cimple

        Yes. However, one of the two acceptable definitions is: "Occurring through divine or supernatural intervention". IThat was the connotation that would likely upset the engineers responsible.

        February 23, 2013 at 7:18 pm |
    • Zoglet

      Which is yet more proof that engineers and physicists are satanists!!!!

      February 23, 2013 at 8:15 pm |
    • heatmiser

      Because people that don't understand engineering or the scientific method (IE 99.999% of this fat stupid country) wouldn't be able to relate to the story.

      Maybe if they said Lady Gaga built it and some NFL team kicked it up there. Or god made it be up there when he created the universe and all the things in it exactly like you see it 5000 years ago. Then maybe it would have acceptance. But: some really smart people built it and figured out how to get it there so we could have a better understanding of this wonderful universe we live in – NO! Nerds suck, they could never do that! That's a waste of my important tax dollar that I could have spent on a new tattoo! The government is out to get me!

      February 25, 2013 at 8:31 am |
  22. Carl

    CNN blows. Here is a story which is largely about pictures, PUBLIC pictures even, and the whole thing is presented as low-resolution copies locked in a stupid little flash plugin. Thanks for being so useless.

    February 23, 2013 at 5:43 pm |
  23. james

    It doesn't look like any thing will grow there, and there are no percious metals. you could drill holes in the moon. So the conclusion is, there's nothing living out there. So Solly.

    February 23, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
    • phorse

      huh?

      February 23, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
    • trveor

      are you serious, Its a planet... It has precious metals => which come from asteroids => that were part of supernovas from before our galaxy's existence. since mars has very little atmosphere, the materials are very likely to be in the hundreds if not thousands of times more numerous then here on earth.

      February 23, 2013 at 6:13 pm |
    • whoa

      we've got a genius here guys

      February 23, 2013 at 7:07 pm |
    • Sane Person

      I'm shock to learn you arent on the president's science advisory team or running for congress.

      February 24, 2013 at 6:41 am |
  24. w l jones

    Ancient civilization from beyound our solar system discovered earth and populate it with us. As human it in our nature to do as they did make sure.

    February 23, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
    • BobR

      Hey I saw that Star Trek episode too!

      February 23, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
      • w l jones

        This is the real deal!

        February 23, 2013 at 6:18 pm |
  25. Brian Smith

    Anyone could have guessed "Gray" – but we needed to send a billion dollar+ mars rover there to confirm. Was it worth it?

    February 23, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
    • Aaron

      Yes.

      February 23, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
      • u laby

        People dying of cancer and starvation in this world and we're burning cash on this folly??

        February 23, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
      • ResearchIsImportantToo

        u laby, plenty of billions is spent on the research already. It is no folly to venture in to space. I think you should simply stfu.

        February 23, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
      • Richard Bergstrom

        @u laby Because of space exploration, we have hydroponics which help make food. We have plastics which allow for the transport and preservation of medicine in devices called "syringes" and also allow you to type up your brain farts on whatever device you're using.

        February 23, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
      • Andrew

        If it wasn't for people exploring the great unknown we would never be able to work on finding a cure for cancer. For example, if someone didn't decide to start digging up the ground we would of likely not discovered many resources necessary to produce the materials required to work on many types of research. To say that exploring Mars is pointless is to say Christopher Columbus should of never of discovered the Americas.

        February 23, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
      • carpenterman123

        Andrew I think it's all a matter of perspective. American Indians probably think he shouldn't have done it.

        February 23, 2013 at 6:54 pm |
      • Larry Winkler

        @u laby. The cost of this space mission to Mars is equivalent to the amount of donuts we consume in a week. Speaking of waste (waist).

        February 23, 2013 at 7:56 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      Guesswork carries no weight

      February 23, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
    • Nodack

      Thanks for your scientific expertise. While you were typing that there was another order for fries, so you better get back to work.

      February 23, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
    • David

      No – Only for those that view ignorance as a virtue.

      February 23, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
    • Nodack

      Arm chair scientists sharing all of their expertise online while working at a job that has nothing to do with science. What a joy.

      February 23, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
    • Erik

      Ha ha way to miss the point. Yes we just wanted to know if the stone was grey or not, that's why we're there. Maybe you should wander over to another article, perhaps go see what trouble snookie is getting into before you hurt your brain.

      February 23, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
      • greg

        That was awesome..lol

        February 23, 2013 at 6:34 pm |
    • Chocolog

      What if he runs into a female rover sent from someplace else? Would he have to drill her in the name of science?

      February 23, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
      • Erik

        It would be irresponsible not too. For science!

        February 23, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
      • situationalawareness

        Yes, the robot is a sentient creature that procreates of course.

        February 23, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
    • Dingalingaboud

      The money DID NOT actually go to Mars with the rover. Its still here on Earth doing things. NOTHING was wasted except your educational years. You should have paid more attention in school.

      February 23, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
  26. tommywheelr

    They are going to need to come up with a lot of names for all these rocks!

    February 23, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
  27. Ben

    Picture 7 looks incredibly similar to what you see with dried out mud on the Mississippi river up by where I live. All crackly looking and such. Picture 5 looks like rocks I've seen eroded by water on the edges on the river as well.

    February 23, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
  28. dudley

    Here's another theory: regularly, throughout time, volcanic activity deposited layers upon layers of iron-rich sediment on Mars which kept Mars from ever developing life – effectively smothering all attempts. Some biologically feasible structures would appear, but only to be wiped out, over and over, by this volcanically overactive planetoid, until the atmosphere itself could no longer support the growth of life as we know it. After all, the largest volcano in the solar system is located there. Now, let's ship a whole bunch of volcanologists to Mars, armed and ready ready to prove that specific theory. That's science!

    February 23, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
    • Jimmy Joe Jim Bob

      Dudley, again proving his inability to grasp simple concepts, paints himself into a corner with his blatant hypocrisy, by suggesting that scientists be sent to prove something, rather than being sent to study, collect data, analyze and then postulate possible conclusions. Tsk, tsk, Dudley.

      February 23, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
  29. dudley

    "Right now we’re on the pathway to hopefully characterizing this place as a habitable environment," Grotzinger said.

    Tells me that ol' Grotz just disqualified himself from being a scientist. Pure scientists observe, measure and postulate what they find; they do not prejudice their findings by seeking to find what they hope they will.

    February 23, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
    • Jimmy Joe Jim Bob

      Dudley, because he's not especially astute, tries desperately to comprehend simple English statements, but fails miserably.

      February 23, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
    • Erik

      Yea, because he has an objective he isn't a scientist? Haha. It is pretty sad that you have nothing better to do than troll around in the comment section, making bogus criticisms based off of rough definitions of things. Science is often objective, there is question you have and you set your parameters to answer that question. Surely though, a scientist cannot get excited about his research and hope to find a certain outcome and still remain a scientist. He must say f'it, I don't care one way or another, I am just going to do my research.

      February 23, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
  30. bankrupt1

    they picked a penny by a jewish artist.

    February 23, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
    • bankrupt1

      maybe they think it will oxidize

      February 23, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
  31. glk20c

    Where are all the people?!

    February 23, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
  32. Skip

    Now THAT is a good read. (...and photos)

    February 23, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
  33. NanO

    God bless science!

    February 23, 2013 at 11:29 am |
    • Jimmy Joe Jim Bob

      Mythical characters do not do things.

      February 23, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
  34. FSM

    Just wait...they'll find evidence of previous life on Mars and the Christians will "discover" a passage in the bible that talks about it like they did with dinosaurs.

    February 23, 2013 at 11:00 am |
    • Nah

      *yawn*

      Troll harder.

      February 23, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
  35. bankrupt1

    Is everything dead because of radiation?

    February 23, 2013 at 10:22 am |
    • Derek

      Mars only has 1% of an atmosphere like Earth's. That being said, it doesn't have enough of a greenhouse effect, so it's very cold and very dry. I believe some scientists think that it was because of the lower gravity that Mars lost most of it's atmosphere, water, and warmth... Hence no or little habitable geography for life.

      February 23, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
  36. Paul H

    Should have googled my question first. From collectspace.com

    "When a geologist takes pictures of rock outcrops she is studying, she wants an object of [a] known scale in the photographs," said principal investigator Ken Edgett with Malin Space Science Systems in San Diego, Calif. "If it is a whole cliff face, she'll ask a person to stand in the shot. If it is a view from a meter or so away, she might use a rock hammer."

    "If it is a close-up, as the MAHLI can take, she might pull something small out of her pocket. Like a penny," Edgett said.

    Centennial cent

    Curiosity's 1¢ piece is not just any old penny.

    Edgett picked out and purchased the penny with his own funds. A 1909 "VDB" cent, the coin is from the first year Lincoln pennies were minted, the centennial of President Abraham Lincoln's birth. The initials ("VDB") of the coin's designer — Victor David Brenner — are etched onto the coin's reverse.

    February 23, 2013 at 9:01 am |
  37. Paul H

    Is there any significance to the use of a "1909" penny as the scale reference object seen in one of the images?

    February 23, 2013 at 8:55 am |
  38. mike

    Elizabeth Landau, what is it that makes all female "science writers" think that 2000 lbs. ='s two tons? Look something up first if you don't know anything about it. Then write.

    February 23, 2013 at 7:41 am |
    • bthumble

      What the hell are you talking about ?

      February 23, 2013 at 8:56 am |
    • bthumble

      What I should have said was "Is that really what you got from reading that story"? Forest for the trees dude . . forest for the trees.

      February 23, 2013 at 8:58 am |
    • Richard

      He's talking about the curb weight of the rover. Since it weighs 1980lbs it is ~1 ton or .898 metric tons. So when someone calls it a two-ton anything they sound ignorant. It ruins the credibility of anything written after it.

      February 23, 2013 at 9:22 am |
      • Jon

        It only weighs 760 lbs now that it is on Mars.

        February 24, 2013 at 7:03 am |
  39. kimwilliamgordon

    The article states: "miraculous landing".
    There was nothing "miraculous" about it. It was pure science.

    Ask some (name your favorite lunatic fringe believe system here) to land a rover on Mars.

    Yea, I thought so.

    February 23, 2013 at 12:55 am |
    • Cal Newlan

      The landing was miraculous.

      February 23, 2013 at 1:07 am |
      • Mark

        no sorry, i agree, nothing to do with miracles.

        February 23, 2013 at 4:48 am |
      • phb

        The landing was the result of awesome engineering.

        February 23, 2013 at 11:54 am |
    • cholla9807

      The use of "miraculous" grated on me, too. "Breath-taking" would have been a better choice, omitting, as it does, the suggestion of the supernatural. I admit I held my breath in the final moments of the landing process. "Spectacular" would have worked, too, I guess, but it feels a little pale.

      February 23, 2013 at 6:47 am |
    • chardbres

      Well said, I had the same reaction, too. The use of the word "miraculous" always distracts me from amazing stories like this; why can't we just give due credit to the people who have dedicated their whole lives to understanding space and engineering in order to throw a robot onto another planet?

      I understand the use of the word is closer to "amazing," but it still gets to me from time to time.

      February 23, 2013 at 10:26 am |
    • Jhandair

      This was science at it's best!! And it was indeed miraculous. Give credit where credit is due.

      February 23, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
      • Jimmy Joe Jim Bob

        Sorry, mindless, but it was not miraculous.

        February 23, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
  40. Cal Newlan

    OK, kids, turn off the Sci-Fi Channel and open a Bible (KJV). It has all the science you need in Genesis.

    February 23, 2013 at 12:54 am |
    • Mark

      It does? truth be told, it says absolutely nothing.

      February 23, 2013 at 4:46 am |
    • DogExists

      How is a book of fairy tales written 2000 years ago by ignorant nomads who lived in a desert science?

      February 23, 2013 at 6:59 am |
    • Tom

      Awesome! What page tells me whether there was water, organic compounds, and possibly life on mars over the last few million years?

      February 23, 2013 at 7:37 am |
    • Evskie

      Im sorry, but a book about a fairy zombie could never replace real science.

      February 23, 2013 at 8:07 am |
    • Matt

      Great! So I assume when you get sick, you'll just tell the doctors to only do things that are listed in Genesis?

      February 23, 2013 at 9:55 am |
    • Alessandro

      I hope he is being sarcastic, Genesis speaks of Adam and Eve having two sons, one is killed by the other, and magically another woman appears in the desert, if the Bible is to be taken literally then the woman in the desert would of been Cain's sister. Second, according to religion dinosaurs and humans lived together.

      February 23, 2013 at 10:24 am |
      • Nah

        aless: "Second, according to religion dinosaurs and humans lived together."

        Do you always make ridiculous generalizations?

        February 23, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
    • Nah

      cal: "OK, kids, turn off the Sci-Fi Channel and open a Bible (KJV). It has all the science you need in Genesis."

      Lol. The saddest part is CNN's commenters were actually trolled by this.

      February 23, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
      • Cal Newlan

        LOL, I know! It makes trolling fun. They jump all over it.

        February 23, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
  41. Apartment 17

    Buck Rogers: what planet are you from ??

    February 23, 2013 at 12:31 am |
  42. GrapeDrink

    Wow, there are a lot of dim individuals out there. Our species is doomed, but you knew that...

    February 22, 2013 at 10:44 pm |
  43. Sal

    "Mars shows it's [sic] true colors"

    Really, CNN? Why should I trust your article on astronomy when you have a very basic grammatical error right in the headline? A spell-check can't fix bad grammar; hire some editors!

    February 22, 2013 at 9:44 pm |
    • Max

      yeah dude you nailed them. Let's now move on to discussion how Danica won't win the race

      February 22, 2013 at 11:10 pm |
  44. b4bigbabg

    All that money wasted on space stuff, when they should be using it down here on practical projects like inventing a tastier hamburger.

    February 22, 2013 at 8:12 pm |
  45. DontTrustYourDog

    I was going to say how amazing these photos are but I'm more amazed at how many paranoid-delusionals there are in this country. The simple fact that you are able to post your senseless ideas on a free internet is PROOF that the government is not out to get you. Think about it: Why would a government that does what you all say it does allow you to continue your trash talking about it? When you trust things you find on youtube more than things scientists tell you, you should really question your own sanity.

    February 22, 2013 at 6:20 pm |
  46. Greg Faith

    At the rate the human race is going, we'll kill off ourselves and the only thing to prove were existed are the rovers, orbiting sats and debris from all the failed missions on the surface of Mars.

    February 22, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
  47. BADGER BADGERISM

    Why should anyone ever trust NASA the agency that airbrushes out UFOS, Moon and Mars anomalies.
    NASA is just another cover for the true ( secret ) space program sucking tax payers money and delivering lies and absolute junk.

    February 22, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
    • Michael John Anthony

      This is what happens when patients eat their foil hat.

      February 22, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
      • cholla9807

        Two thumbs up!

        February 23, 2013 at 6:32 am |
      • TheGrimJester

        I am sorry, but what am I suppose to do with my old tinfoil hat? Everyone knows that the powerful defenses of a tinfoil hat start to lessen after weeks of wearing them. Usually from the chemical trails spread by our government's reptilian aliens from the NASA program.

        February 23, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
    • bob

      Yea were wasting so much money. NASA has a budget of like 8 Billion dollars total.

      Look up all the things that were invented by NASA.

      Lets not worry about the trillions of dollars spent fighting in Iraq and Afganistan where we haven't accomplished one thing.

      What about the 400 billion dollars they spent on the F-35 Raptor that doesn't even work.

      That is a waste of money.

      If I was in charge NASA's budget would be in the hundreds of billions

      February 22, 2013 at 8:54 pm |
      • Nissim Levy

        Amen to that.

        February 22, 2013 at 9:39 pm |
      • Matt

        The Raptor is the F-22. not the F-35, for the record.

        February 23, 2013 at 10:01 am |
      • YOUARESTUPID32

        You are wasting money by putting, this stupid double enter comment?

        February 25, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
    • cacarr

      Take your meds.

      February 23, 2013 at 3:06 am |
  48. Lisa W

    oops. Let me redo this. This is the actual link for the applicants to read about the ONE WAY ONLY trip to Mars to start a civilization.
    This not a joke. http://mars-onedotcom/en/faq-en/21-faq-selection/251-do-i-qualify-to-apply

    February 22, 2013 at 10:04 am |
    • Bill39

      It should be a joke. Cost enormous. Risks astronomical.

      February 22, 2013 at 10:59 am |
      • Bill39

        I would add: benefits zero.

        February 22, 2013 at 11:01 am |
      • Lone

        Thanks for being that guy, throughout history, who said "There will be no value / benefit / reason for this..." prior to every expedition man has ever made.

        February 23, 2013 at 4:35 am |
  49. christa tenner

    uptil I saw the receipt that said $9451, I did not believe ...that...my best friend was like really bringing in money part-time from there pretty old laptop.. there sisters roommate has done this 4 only about 8 months and resantly repayed the debts on their condo and bourt BMW M3. go to, ……… BIT40.ℂOℳ

    February 21, 2013 at 6:22 pm |
    • oleander

      no one wants your engrish scam.

      February 22, 2013 at 6:55 pm |
  50. Cal Newlan

    Forget about Mars. Come to Jesus! Know Jesus, know peace. No Jesus, no peace.

    February 21, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
    • Eric

      LOL Jesus and Peace – have you read the bible?

      February 21, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
    • Naaaaaa

      Yeah he's the dude that mows my grass, I know him pretty well.

      February 21, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
    • Mitch

      I have a deep and personal relationship with Raptor Jesus.

      February 21, 2013 at 6:25 pm |
      • LT7890

        Mitch... surely you mean RAPTURE-ER ...

        February 22, 2013 at 11:02 pm |
    • Jim Alford

      Surely you jest.

      February 21, 2013 at 8:56 pm |
      • Sciguy73

        No, not at all. And don't call me Shirley.

        February 23, 2013 at 10:28 am |
    • Triston Augustious McCallum

      My friend, the very claims that you propose regarding your supposed god are simply absurd. One cannot waste away his life based solely upon the radical ideal that an omniscient being is watching his every move. Shame upon you and any monotheistic follower. Science is the key to salvation, not your senseless "God".

      February 22, 2013 at 8:42 am |
      • Cal Newlan

        Jesus loves you.

        February 23, 2013 at 1:43 am |
      • Chris R

        Jesus loves you as well but do you really think he loves people being ignorant of nature and math and the sciences? Seems to me that God created this universe with a set of fundamental principles and laws – constants, math, physics and the like. Knowing these things allows us to know God better.

        February 24, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
    • Generik

      I often think it should be "Know Jesus, No peace. No Jesus, Know peace."

      February 22, 2013 at 9:30 am |
    • oleander

      Ghandi: 'Your Christ, great guy. Your christians, not so much.' I dont go to church (too much drama), but I am christian and I agree. Most christians are uneducated and willfully ignorant. However, Jesus really was about peace and love and understanding Gods capacity for forgiveness. Of all the figures of the bible you could choose to pick at (Sarah was abrahams WHAT?!?!?) Jesus simply isnt one of them.

      February 22, 2013 at 6:59 pm |
    • Jimmy Joe Jim Bob

      Jesus...isn't that my pool guy?

      February 23, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
  51. Skeptic

    Doesn't oxidation require the presence of oxygen?

    February 21, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
    • Buck Rogers

      Well... yes.... but remember this is NASA, so they can just use spray paint.

      February 21, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
    • JustinFromNJ

      There's plenty of oxygen in the Mars atmosphere, which is mostly carbon dioxide. Also, the water, which at one time was plentiful on Mars, contributed to the conversion of iron to iron oxide.

      February 21, 2013 at 6:49 pm |
      • SmellyRhinoBoss

        Well it looks like someone failed high school chemistry. CO2 will not oxidize anything because its not an oxidizer. Just cause oxygen is in its structure doesnt mean it will cause things to rust. Oxygen (O2) was most likely present before mars' magnetosphere shut down. Once that happened the most of its atmosphere was sucked out into space and most gases went with it, including water vapor. Now its weak magnetosphere harbors a crappy CO2 atmosphere and all the rust is still there.

        February 23, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
    • Jam One

      No, remember your high school chemistry. All you need for oxidation is another element or compound that can act as a reducing agent.

      February 21, 2013 at 7:06 pm |
      • Jam One

        Apologies, an element or compound that can act as an oxidizing agent by being reduced.

        February 21, 2013 at 7:24 pm |
    • Matt

      Do, oxidation only requires a chemical that will accept electrons from whatever is being oxidized. It is only called oxidation because the most common oxidizer on earth is oxygen.

      February 23, 2013 at 10:08 am |
      • Matt

        Whoops, Jam one already basically said that...

        February 23, 2013 at 10:09 am |
  52. Jason_Wise

    At least NASA is now showing the True Color of the sky and ground...Light Blue and Tan instead of Red. That is an improvement of showing the truth for once.

    February 21, 2013 at 10:23 am |
    • No tea pots

      Corn Pone says what?

      February 21, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
  53. orion7x

    So you pee in your pants over the same things over and over but when there is a hood ornament from something sticking out of the rock you pass it by! I love space stuff but this is called hiding the truth...

    February 21, 2013 at 9:40 am |
    • SentTheWave

      It's almost like the guys at NASA know what they're doing and you're just a layman with no clue...

      February 21, 2013 at 9:47 am |
    • JDavis

      Call it Incuriosity.

      February 21, 2013 at 5:35 pm |
    • Evskie

      Maybe because the so called hood ornament named by the media and bloggers is actually something as mundane as a rock perched like a golfball on a tee, the last bit off softer sediment left that the wind has yet to blow away?

      February 23, 2013 at 8:22 am |
  54. bezerkur

    At least I can see some progress of my tax dollars on another planet then whats going on here. The same people who complain about space exploration are the same people 500 years ago who said the world was flat.

    February 21, 2013 at 9:39 am |
    • Nissim Levy

      and it's the same people who currently say that consciousness is separate from the physical universe.

      February 22, 2013 at 9:42 pm |
  55. Buck Rogers

    Does anyone know what type of cement mix NASA used for their 'drill' photos? It appears to be Guikrete with a painted surface. It's good to know that NASA uses the local hardware shops to buy material for their 'Martian props' to keep us all entertained via their rover dropped by a "sky crane"......

    http://www.fountainsofthegreatdeep.com/Mars.htm

    February 21, 2013 at 9:10 am |
    • BRC

      Do you honestly take that site seriously?

      February 21, 2013 at 9:21 am |
      • Buck Rogers

        Well I think if NASA and the Russians fake enough of 'spaceflight' like they mapped out over 50 years ago, eventually folks will buy into their claims. And people will actually think that they went to the east-to-west orbiting moon inside the tin-can called the "LEM". It might take a while, but with enough PR flooded into the system, folks will end up being brainwashed.......

        February 21, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
    • SentTheWave

      You're the reason the rest of the world thinks Americans are stupid.

      February 21, 2013 at 9:35 am |
      • Buck Rogers

        Americans aren't 'stupid', far from it. Lets face it, what other country could actually pull-off the fakes like NASA? Now granted, NASA and the Soviets coordinated the fake moon landings, but aside from that, our fakes are indeed the best. The Chinese are now faking spaceflight and botching it up left and right. So I'm actually FOR NASA to keep going with the fakes 9Mars rover fake, International Fake Station, fake pics via the Hubble, etc, etc.). If we stop our fakes now, who will fake it like the United Fakes of America? No one.....

        February 21, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
      • Rick

        If you think this guy is funny you should check out Bart Sibrel. Sibrel or "Bart the Fart" as we call him in Tennessee, is really hilarious. Just google him and get ready to laugh your butt off.

        February 22, 2013 at 8:38 pm |
      • Nissim Levy

        That's right bucky, all those satellite pictures of a spherical earth are fake. The earth is flat. It says so in the bible when Satan tells Jesus that from a high mountain he can see all the earth's kingdoms.

        February 22, 2013 at 9:45 pm |
    • Hal

      The REAL fraud is that website. And you believe it, lol.

      February 21, 2013 at 9:38 am |
      • Buck Rogers

        If you stop and think about it we're ALL fakes and frauds aren't we?

        February 21, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
    • yuk yuk yuk...

      So how's that tin-foil hat working out for you?

      February 21, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
    • Naaaaaa

      What the crap are you talking about? NASA has no reason to fake anything.
      Their accomplishments over the last 50 years have been wonderful.
      I personally MADE all 80 microwave isolaters for the Pathfinder mission in 96.
      You have NO logical leg to stand on posting tripe like that!

      Go back under your bridge troll, just because you have no scientific knowledge don't try and bring others down to your simple level. With your IQ of 78.

      February 21, 2013 at 5:46 pm |
    • BeerBrewerDan

      To stupidity and beyond!

      February 22, 2013 at 8:54 am |
      • YOUARESTUPID32

        Old, so old sir.

        February 25, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
    • GrapeDrink

      -1/10

      February 22, 2013 at 10:38 pm |
    • Sciguy73

      Mind your G's and Q's

      February 23, 2013 at 10:32 am |
    • BobR

      We have a new life form here.

      BuckRogers = troll + idiot = tridiot TRIDIOT!

      February 23, 2013 at 5:03 pm |
    • Pander Bear

      Buck, you really need to take all of the pills in the prescription, otherwise you'll end up on websites posting asinine conspiracy theories.

      February 24, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
  56. dragonfire0477

    Go NASA Go!

    February 21, 2013 at 9:07 am |
  57. da

    im only allowed to post on these kind of sites. anyway i volunteer for a one way trip to the red planet, don't have to come back don't want to come back send me now while i am still healthy enough to make the trip. Land me near the pole so I can make oxygen as long as the power holds out. Give me your best radiation shielding so I dont get cooked. I will send you live pictures, about a twenty minute delay. I will see if we can devise a come system to send hyper communications to get rid of the nasty time delay. A lot of experiments and scientific achievements can be made by those of us will to try to advance mankind. The problem is not money. The problem is people are becoming more self-centered and selfish. Thats is why I volunteer for this trip with no desire to come back. I will relay all the wonderful information i find back to you people that really care about trying to save us all.

    February 21, 2013 at 9:00 am |
    • Johngalt78

      Your application for Mayor of Crazytown has been received and is currently under review.

      February 21, 2013 at 9:13 am |
      • da

        not crazy at all. look at the freakess stuff on these post.

        February 21, 2013 at 11:28 am |
    • cmgoodchild

      Sorry, we a re not currently accepting felons..

      February 21, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
  58. Pete

    "...Mars rover Curiosity, which has been exploring Gale Crater since its miraculous landing..."

    "Miraculous"? CNN, pleases don't discredit excellent engineering and science with nonsensical fluff.

    February 21, 2013 at 8:06 am |
    • Andres A.

      I totally agree with you im glad somebody pointed it out

      February 21, 2013 at 10:15 am |
  59. Wake UP People

    NASA is a deception mill on the info coming from Mars. The Sky is blue not red. All the images are color corrected to look red. They have found alarming anomalies. WHY? Why all the deception n Mars, the Moon and elsewhere? Whom do the lies serve?

    February 21, 2013 at 6:59 am |
    • SentTheWave

      yeah, last time I was on Mars, I noticed the sky was blue too.

      idiot.

      February 21, 2013 at 7:35 am |
      • bang bang

        And there where amazing beaches

        February 21, 2013 at 8:08 am |
    • Canada

      yea... It's just Iron Oxide in the air, then white light passes through.... agh nevermind..

      February 21, 2013 at 8:17 am |
      • SentTheWave

        Trying to explain things to people like him/her would be a lost cause, my friend.

        February 21, 2013 at 8:24 am |
      • YOUARESTUPID32

        When light passes through the glass triangle?

        February 25, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
    • Jimmy Joe Jim Bob

      Invariably, people who say, "wake up", are so deep in reality slumber that they have no idea what's going on in the real world.

      February 23, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
  60. Actionman

    The color of the rock dust is clearly blue, yet the weirdos at NASA talking to the reporter is calling the dust gray.

    February 21, 2013 at 5:59 am |
    • Color Corrected

      In fact, the color of the interior of that rock is clearly green– not gray nor blue. You can't beat human eyes. Are you viewing this picture through sunglasses or a Viewmaster. .

      February 21, 2013 at 8:15 am |
      • jkflipflop

        If the picture of the dust is anything other than grey, you have your monitor configured incorrectly.

        February 21, 2013 at 8:52 am |
      • Actionman

        Aqua it's aqua! The color we see is! > [red:180] [green:212] [blue:196] more blue then red more green then blue... so yes, it's green. I stand corrected.

        February 21, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
      • situationalawareness

        No no no it's obviously magenta!

        February 23, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
  61. tiphany guidotti

    If you think Eugene`s story is incredible,, a month back my aunt basically actually earnt $8612 workin 10 hours a week from there apartment and they're roomate's ex-wife`s neighbour has been doing this for 4 months and brought home more than $8612 in their spare time from a labtop. apply the guide available on this page............ BIT40.ℂOℳ

    February 21, 2013 at 5:26 am |
  62. James Boyd

    All that Red Dust ya see there is just one tiny little bit of Texas

    February 21, 2013 at 3:56 am |
  63. lewtwo

    Picture two shows what appears to be two holes. I am guessing that the lower right is just a pile of derbies from the drilling process and that the cavity there is from the device collecting its sample.

    February 21, 2013 at 2:57 am |
  64. SixDegrees

    "The two-ton Mars rover Curiosity, [...] has been exploring Gale Crater since its miraculous landing on August 6"

    Nothing miraculous about it. Technically astonishing – absolutely. An amazing engineering feat – certainly. Miraculous – no. It's science and engineering at its best.

    February 21, 2013 at 2:38 am |
  65. OMG

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! It's just like Dead Space 3, Mars is a giant parasite lol

    February 21, 2013 at 2:28 am |
  66. Native Martian

    HEY! GET OFF MY PROPERTY YOU EARTH DOGS!

    February 21, 2013 at 1:45 am |
  67. Phazon

    I have peace cause unlike man who has disavowed themselves from God I know he didn't make this earth for nothing. Mankind continues to believe what other men tell them the bible predicted our time we live in science is constantly changing their theories and beliefs the bibles message stays the same it has lasted longer and has been read by more people than any book in the history of mankind it has escaped the crusades and the efforts by the vatican to destroy it. Man-kind can't even make a computer that has as many electrical connections as the human brain and you want to believe man who does nothing unless it is for his own personal gain? I am sorry but accidents don't create life forms for every house has a maker. Nothing has evolved sense man has been here but I know your going to say that bacteria evolves but you are wrong bacteria adapts because not all bacteria evolves only the one you got sick with adapts to antibiotics spreads and spreads. Just like we get stronger by building up an immunity so does bacteria. And in their reproduction the genes to repel the antibiotics are there. Bacteria splits and multiplies. Stop believing these evolution people please if you just open your heart and your mind you can see logic states that life needs a maker the only one who didn't need a maker is God even though we can't understand how he has always been there doesn't mean he isn't cause Satan raised the question that man would never worship God on faith well most men can't thats why it says the road to everlasting life is narrow and cramped and few are finding it whereas it says the road leading off into everlasting destruction is wide and many are on it.

    February 21, 2013 at 1:05 am |
    • Steve

      What does exploring mars have to do with the bible? Isn't the goal of science to understand our world? Or if you must, to understand God's world? If you are against science you better stop posting nonsense posts on the Internet with your computer that scientists and engineers created. If you wanna sit in a cave and read your bible by candle light, that is fine. As for the rest of us, science explains a great deal, with supporting evidence, and in greater detail than the bible.
      There are libraries filled with scientific books, papers, and articles, while the bible is one book and doesn't even begin to talk about what we are made up of, what the universe is, what gravity, or electromagnetism are.
      Does this mean God didn't create them? Does this mean that we shouldn't study them?
      Why would God create such a beautiful and complex world with so many observable phenomenon that suggest that the bible is incorrect on a few issues? Mainly those regarding the age of the earth and the creation of all life. Who is to say that god isn't guiding evolution? Isn't that the same thing?

      February 21, 2013 at 1:41 am |
    • Paul

      Well that's funny, accidents seem to create RNA given less than a month in a laboratory primordial soup. But because your miniscule mind can't comprehend how long 10,000 years is, and therefore even conceive what 100,000 or 1,000,000 or 10,000,000 years could do, you rely on a book written by Men for 2,000 years ago. We get that religious people can't think 8 to 10 steps ahead dynamically like professional chess players, so therefore you question the 32 steps in photosynthesis which we figured out 40 years ago. 500 hundred years from now you will be regarded as morally stupid as cavemen, because you just can't think for yourselves !

      February 21, 2013 at 2:13 am |
    • David from So Cal

      Curious, is it odd having imaginary friends at your age? It seems like that would be a bit hard to deal with.....

      February 21, 2013 at 3:02 am |
    • The_Mick

      Please don't preach. Your opinion's fine – except for the strange claim that the Catholic Church, which created the New Testament, somehow wants to destroy it. I think it's highly presumptious that you think you know God didn't use evolution as His tool for creating life. Who told you how he did lit? It must be clear to you that the Bible -which has two different creation stories, two different men killing Goliath, two different versions of what occurred on what day leading to Jesus' death, etc. etc. – if highly figurative. So there's a lot of room for interpretation. For example, since the Sun wasn't created until the 4th day, how long were the first three "days" of Creation at the beginning of Genesis?

      February 21, 2013 at 3:26 am |
    • Logica

      So you are saying that God does Doesn't have the power to create Evolution?

      February 21, 2013 at 8:08 am |
      • dragonfire0477

        He also can't create a stone so heavy he can't lift it...omnipotence indeed.....hah!

        February 21, 2013 at 9:11 am |
    • Cedar Rapids

      seriously phazon? you actually believe that supernatural nonsense huh?

      February 23, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
  68. RocketScientist

    What a colossal waste of money and resources.

    February 21, 2013 at 1:00 am |
    • Eric

      Reading ignorant comments? I agree.

      February 21, 2013 at 1:44 am |
    • Richard

      Go back your cave, luddite.

      February 21, 2013 at 1:44 am |
    • Jay

      What? This is huge! We just discovered Mars has gray dirt!

      February 21, 2013 at 2:32 am |
      • Raremoon

        It is old known that is sulfur, boring.

        February 23, 2013 at 12:31 am |
    • SixDegrees

      You need to get rid of that mirror next to your monitor.

      February 21, 2013 at 2:39 am |
    • Major Tom

      Like you contributed to any of the money spent on this. People who collect welfare don't get to whine about where our tax money is spent.

      February 21, 2013 at 4:43 am |
    • Wake UP People

      True but it is part of the deception. The Gov or parts of it KNOW quite a bit about Mars. Disclosure is the only answer but the liars have lied for so long that they are afraid of what would happen.

      February 21, 2013 at 7:18 am |
    • SentTheWave

      Your education? Apparently, yeah.

      February 21, 2013 at 7:38 am |
  69. Heatmiser

    Mars does NOT have an economy. Money spent on exploring Mars does not actually GO to Mars. It stays on Earth in the Earth's Economy. Sub contracting companies get paid , material supply companies get paid. They, in turn, pay their employees who must pay taxes and pay mortgages, buy food, buy clothes etc etc. That's the way an economy works, the money is still here doing things.

    The biggest insurance policy the human race can possibly take out on its long term survival is investing in a way to get off this planet – not all 7 billion of us, but enough to insure that if we get wiped out (or we wipe ourselves out) here on Earth the race will continue elsewhere.

    $2.5 billion would do very little to help with the ignorance of the people in this country anyway. We used to be the most forward-thinking people on the planet. Now we can't be bothered to care why scientists would want to study rocks on ANOTHER FREAKING PLANET! Go back to watching "The biggest Loser" or "American Idol".

    February 21, 2013 at 12:20 am |
    • Steve

      Idiot response

      February 21, 2013 at 12:31 am |
      • YOUARESTUPID32

        idiot responses require evidence, please explain...

        February 25, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
    • Cybermantis

      Contrary to popular belief, the Mars Rover Project is funded by global-elitists who are searching for gold and diamonds. They are not exploring Mars in the name of "science" or to "better the human race". That is the lie they feed to the public, to justify funneling billions of dollars of other peoples money for their own personal projects. Welcome to reality. The reality of greed.

      February 21, 2013 at 12:38 am |
      • chicadow

        Exactly! And when they find that 50 lb diamond, they'll pick it up with the robot arms, and, uh, uh, well, i guess that's the end of the exciting story.

        Oh wait, they, uh, sent a prepaid UPS shipping label with the Rover, who will, uh, drop off the diamond at the, uh, drop box in the, uh, Mars Whole Foods Parking lot!

        Yeah that's it!

        February 21, 2013 at 1:12 am |
      • macdaddy

        Hey dont be a smarta#s now! you know damn well they use FedEx on Mars!

        February 21, 2013 at 1:46 am |
      • Gaunt

        While NASA is exploring other planets, I'm glad we have people here like Cybermantis and his ilk, to explore the deplths of human stupidity.

        February 21, 2013 at 2:25 am |
      • Heatmiser

        Listen to what you just said: "Mysterious Unnamed Rich People just spent $2.5 billion to find perhaps $10,000 (how much could the rover possibly hold?) in gold and/or diamonds with NO possible way of bringing them home" I'd think Mysterious Unnamed Rich People would make wiser investments. You should probably not share ideas on the internet.

        February 21, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
  70. midasgem

    We should colonize mars just incase a disaster befalls the earth.

    February 21, 2013 at 12:19 am |
    • Richard

      It won't be done with piddling chemical rockets. The only thing that will allow rapid colonization and exploration of the solar system is to restart Project Orion. Look it up.

      February 21, 2013 at 1:46 am |
      • Gaunt

        Project orion was a silly joke that Sci-Fi authors took and ran with. There are about 10,000 scientific and physical reasons why its an utter impossibility, let alone cost and political reasons.

        February 21, 2013 at 6:07 am |
  71. Mark

    Great picture....but looking at the specimen scoop...it looks like there is a bolt missing. On the right side of the scoop, are two bolts but an empty slot. The NASA engineers hopefully don't have a bag of extra bolts wondering where they go!

    February 21, 2013 at 12:16 am |
    • Eric

      Hard to know for sure without having the design specifications but I seriously doubt an entire bolt was either left out of the completed project, OR it fell out during landing. Make that two: there are two holes. More likely, they are holes for retaining rods to hold it in place when the unit is in the analyzing chamber. Or something along those lines.

      February 21, 2013 at 1:43 am |
    • oldesalt

      There appears to be pins in the holes that don't have bolts.

      February 21, 2013 at 7:48 am |
    • Old Enough

      They could be indexing holes. Looks like there is a bore through the boss on the scoop. A sight hole? But the locking pin idea is feasable too.

      February 21, 2013 at 9:20 am |
    • gavincurtis

      My guess is they are index or locating pins deeper within. Probably press fit on either scoop or arm side. Keeps everything aligned during assembly. Also locks the scoop together ith the arm so the bolts don't work loose over time. Sure is pretty. :)

      February 21, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
  72. Isaac

    God help us all in jesus christ name.you know what i hope we keep on pushing forward to the end of our future for the christ can come back its the only way trust me belive me god is reall let's go mars Let s do this amen can't wait till that prophecy is done Next month on the 13... yay peace to thee elect one s amen from rabbi isaac

    February 21, 2013 at 12:11 am |
    • Full of Hate for Morons

      Die in agony, you maggot-infested sack of feces. Thanks!

      February 22, 2013 at 10:34 pm |
  73. Stephen Daedalus

    Wow, this is the kind of thing that makes me happy to be alive at this time.

    February 21, 2013 at 12:09 am |
  74. USA

    WOW! I want to go there :-)

    February 20, 2013 at 11:38 pm |
  75. darwinawards

    Honestly, I hope Mars is never inhabitable. We've screwed up our own planet enough. No need to mess up someone else's house.

    February 20, 2013 at 11:22 pm |
    • keplerfan

      Nobady lives there, ignoramus.

      February 20, 2013 at 11:33 pm |
    • Dave

      I can't think of anything more god-awful than traveling to an entire planet's-worth of of what amounts to lifeless barren desert. Actually, Mars is a perfect reminder of what Earth will look like on day at the rate we're going–an uninhabitable wasteland of rock and dust.

      February 20, 2013 at 11:55 pm |
    • John

      We can and will invent our way around all that environmental nonsense you believe in the short term(about 10,000 years), but there's one problem we can only run from and that is the future of the sun. If you really like this planet, you'll want humans to get to a point where we take some of it with us when the sun transforms into a red giant. If you love empty, frozen worlds, there's infinite numbers of them in this solar system alone. There is certainly other life in the universe, but there's still only one Earth. When it is destroyed, it's our responsibility to escape with what we can. Any possible life on mars would also be in trouble at that point and it really doesn't have time to evolve into anything that could understand the situation and deal with it like humans might be able to.

      February 21, 2013 at 1:57 am |
      • Jason

        The sun is about 5 billion years old. It won't become a red giant for about another 5 billion years.

        That leaves plenty of time for evolution on Mars. But more importantly, conjecture about what 'humanity' will be doing at that point is meaningless as humanity as it is now will certainly not exist. Humanity has been here so shortly that conjecture beyond hundreds of years is almost certainly going to prove ridiculous in terms of accuracy to the actual situation that will be present at the time. Thousands is very ridiculous. Millions is beyond ridiculous. Billions? I mean c'mon.

        February 21, 2013 at 8:27 am |
      • John

        I didn't want to mention it, but it's only 2 billion before the sun boils the oceans. It is already slowly warming, it doesn't even need to be a red giant to make this planet virtually uninhabitable. There will also be a ton of ice ages and major disasters between now and then. So you're right, we're doomed and so is the earth. I still hope we at least try though. We don't need to hasten our demise with all this "humans are a disease" stuff. We are actually just as ok as anything else, and we're so tiny and fragile compared to the scale of the universe and time. Your point about us not being able to even plan ahead one hundred years or even one year is well taken. I still don't think mars has the resources for its possible life to evolve into anything. It is too small and its magnetic field is not so good. Maybe if we find something there we can take it here and help it out, or give it some cat food. I don't know.

        February 22, 2013 at 12:12 am |
    • Old Enough

      Mars is our house. Just a part we have not explored yet.

      February 21, 2013 at 9:17 am |
  76. Doh

    Everyone is just waiting for the discovery of one color – gold.

    February 20, 2013 at 10:38 pm |
  77. ..and do the other things...

    After all these decades of space exploration I can still look at those photographs and think "Wow, that's another planet. That's so cool! I wonder what we'll learn from this..."

    February 20, 2013 at 10:33 pm |
  78. Johnny

    I am just curious but where did the rust come from if mars does not have water is there moisture in the atmosphere surely NASA didn't launch the space craft with rust on it.

    February 20, 2013 at 10:24 pm |
    • Sean

      The surface of Mars contains the iron oxide. I don't the reason for so much of it is known yet.

      February 20, 2013 at 10:35 pm |
    • Nick

      "Rust" is a very dumbed-down phrase for the oxidation that is happening. Oxidation does not need oxygen to occur, contrary to its naming. Any compound or molecule that has a high need for extra electrons can be an oxidizing agent. Bromine gas, elemental fluorine, permanganate, chromate, nitric acid, perchloric acid.... etc.

      February 20, 2013 at 10:45 pm |
      • jb

        In this case however, some of the oxidation is in fact oxygen as the red color comes from oxides of iron i.e. rust Fe203 IIRC. It's probably more complicated than that – it always is.

        February 20, 2013 at 11:18 pm |
  79. Zwei Stein

    Picture #15 is NOT a piece of debris from the spacecraft. It is an empty snuff packet. There IS life!

    February 20, 2013 at 10:19 pm |
  80. TomBegich

    I note that they use a 1909 penny – interesting choice – is that actually on the planet?

    February 20, 2013 at 10:19 pm |
    • SixDegrees

      Yes, it's on the Rover. It was chosen because the original landing date was scheduled for 2009. There are stories about the centennial cent on Mars that provide more detail.

      February 21, 2013 at 2:47 am |
  81. Seth Hill

    I'm 70, and my secret wish is for us to discover life off the earth before I die.
    On the other hand, maybe that's not such a good idea ... ?

    February 20, 2013 at 10:15 pm |
    • Dave

      Set, you'd better take rilly rilly rilly good care of yourself, because other life may not be discovered for a looooong time. Best of luck though; I'd love to see it happen too.

      February 20, 2013 at 11:58 pm |
  82. nerp

    Huh.

    February 20, 2013 at 9:59 pm |
  83. Scott Saunders

    Well done people. You are making great progress about Mars.

    February 20, 2013 at 9:59 pm |
  84. drakenfly

    Linus: Hey Charley Brown what did you get?
    Charlie Brown: I got a rock...

    February 20, 2013 at 9:54 pm |
  85. j.j.

    And what did it cost us to find rocks on mars? what the hell we gonna do wth them, we got all the rock we need here! could have spent that money on somthing more benefical to where we live. BUNCH OF DUMDASSES!

    February 20, 2013 at 9:43 pm |
    • ironman59

      You are clearly the fool here. The cost of NASA's budget is less than a few planes that have still yet to be built. If it was not for science we would not have the technology we have today. So, you are free to go live in a cave but I have no problem with the money being spent on exploration. As a matter of fact we need more of it, not less.

      February 20, 2013 at 9:56 pm |
    • narutogrey

      Says the person typing on a computer/smartphone connected to the internet, all of which rely on technologies developed during NASA missions and comm link defense. The Mars Rover will already be paying dividends by making next gen LTE-A wireless technology much faster and also much more energy efficient (i.e. less cell towers needed and much less maintenance cost). It's next gen solar technology is already being implemented by some states to create self sufficient server farms. That will decrease loads on the electrical system, which means long term weaning off of fossil fuels.

      February 20, 2013 at 9:57 pm |
    • Jam One

      We have Martian rocks here on Earth? Where pray tell? How about rocks from Mercury? Venus? The Jovian Moons? Pluto? Please let us know where we can find them here on Earth, then we can spend that money on something more beneficial like your welfare check.

      February 20, 2013 at 10:01 pm |
    • Jonathan

      $2.5 billion. About what we spend a week or so, give or take in Afghanistan. Studies show for every $7 put into NASA (Which is $20 billion a year. Half of every taxpayer penny.) we get $100 back out in new technology. So why don't you do some research. Idiot.

      February 20, 2013 at 10:06 pm |
      • Steve

        You do know people realize your just making crap up...right? 100. For every 7 invested...where did you come up with that ratio? It's called....make s$&t up....you should go into politics.

        February 21, 2013 at 12:35 am |
      • chicadow

        Granted, i argue your same argument (against my wife who says NASA is a poor investment), but playing devil's advocate, couldn't it be argued that much of the funding we provided for the discoveries is then being provided to us... at a price we then pay to a company who profits from it? I know, internet is for the betterment of all, but i still pay for it every month.

        February 21, 2013 at 1:25 am |
    • jeff

      A walnut is bigger than your brain

      February 20, 2013 at 11:15 pm |
    • SixDegrees

      It cost you, personally, about a quarter a year over the last ten years.

      I know that sounds like a lot to you, but once you get out of the trailer park you'll realize it really isn't.

      February 21, 2013 at 2:48 am |
  86. us_1776

    This is what I suspected.

    That the iron oxide is just on the surface.

    A leftover from when the iron core started to solidify and spewed out part of itself.

    .

    February 20, 2013 at 8:55 pm |
  87. Zoglet

    Wow- dust. I can hardly contain my excitement.

    February 20, 2013 at 8:54 pm |
    • Joe Smith

      I'm glad to see that you're doing such a good job of it, though

      February 20, 2013 at 9:02 pm |
    • Steven B.

      So tell me... Is ignorance truly blissful?

      February 20, 2013 at 9:09 pm |
      • Bubba

        How would they know?

        February 20, 2013 at 9:16 pm |
    • Stephen Daedalus

      You're an imbecile, we get it.

      February 21, 2013 at 12:09 am |
    • Mike H.

      And it is gray! Mars continues to surprise and amaze us all.

      February 21, 2013 at 11:55 am |

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