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Video: NASA reveals Curiosity rover mystery findings on Mars

NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

File photo: This patch of windblown sand and dust downhill from a cluster of dark rocks is the "Rocknest" site, where the NASA's Mars rover Curiosity took its first scoop of Red Planet soil.

UPDATE 10:24 a.m.: The Mars rover Curiosity has completed its first chemical test of soil from the red planet, and scientists say there are no surprises so far.

The spacecraft is on a mission to look for ingredients in Martian soil and rocks that could support life. But in the first scoop of soil analyzed, there were no definitive signs of the chemical building blocks of life.

Instead, the six-wheel rover detected water and a mix of other chemicals.

The findings were reported Monday at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco.

A comment by mission's chief scientist two weeks ago led to speculation that Curiosity had dug up carbon-based organics, considered an essential ingredient for life.

Footage from the conference:


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PREVIOUSLY: After stringing space aficionados along for over a week, NASA is expected to officially announce what the Curiosity rover found in a few scoops of Red Planet sand.

Monday's morning press conference, during the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco, will definitively dispell rumors that organic compounds may have been detected on Mars. NASA caused a stir in late November when one researcher quipped the Curiosity had discovered something "for the history books," findings which were soon downplayed as simply "interesting."

At 9:00 a.m. PST, NASA will update the public "about [the team's] first use of the rover's full array of analytical instruments to investigate a drift of sandy soil," officials at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory wrote.

Watch the live stream of the conference below:


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