|Click for showcased image/post from Mars Travel|
On 20 Nov 2012 MSL Curiosity's chief scientist John Grotzinger made a tantalizing announcement. He told NPR that MSL's Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) Instrument discovered something extremely interesting, claiming that "the data is gonna be one for the history books. It's looking really good." He went on to say that the discovery was made from a soil sample taken by the SAM Instrument. This was most likely one of the five scoop samples taken from Rocknest (imaged right).
But what could it be?
Could organics have been discovered? Or evidence of past or present life? Such a finding would shake the foundations of not only the scientific community, but of humanity's perception of themselves in the grand scheme of the universe. In a previous post (excerpted below) I delved into why finding life on Mars would be significant and what it would mean for us here on Earth.
Should we find life on Mars, there are two possible scenarios: