NASA’s Curiosity Has Clicked Selfie After Performing Special Chemistry Experiment

by Ernest Thomas
NASA’s Curiosity Has Clicked Selfie After Performing Special Chemistry Experiment

NASA’s Curiosity rover has borrowed a moment from the busy schedule of exploring the red planet. While conducting scientific experiments, the probe has clicked a new selfie posing towards the camera on the edge of its robotic arm. The imagery, captured at the Glen Etive region on October 11, includes 57 images framed together. NASA has published the eventual panoramic image on Thursday. The wide-image set also contains some clicks of Curiosity’s previous locations, like the northern rim of Gale Crater and Vera Rubin Ridge. It even reveals two drill holes the probe has created while collecting samples. Even more, the latest selfie marks honor of a chemistry experiment Curiosity has conducted on the Martian land. It is the second time, since 2011, to perform the research.

NASA has designed SAM or Sample Analysis at Mars instrument aboard Curiosity, to assess gases, and find water vapor. Through these various tests, the American space agency aims to seek for signs of organic components. Before this, the Martian probe had conducted a SAM wet experiment in September. At the time, it had combined solvents with a sand sample to study the existence of gases in it. But this time, Curiosity has drilled into rocks, to collect the samples. After that, the probe has deposited the specimen in SAM, which consists of individual cups for testing. To estimate the gases emerging from the samples, the lab first heats-up the samples, then seeks for the samples.

Overall, there are 74 cups available aboard for the sampling process and to conduct wet experiments. To analyze the newly-collected samples, it will take some time for scientists to work through the data. We will likely have to wait until the upcoming year to ensure the existence of organic components if any. Even more, the elements could assist in unveil facts about the previous climate on Mars and its transformation. Paul Mahaffy, principal investigator of the portable lab at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, said they have been eager to find a region that would be convincing enough for performing wet experiments. Although it is the first time, Curiosity has drilled a sample and placed it in a cup for wet experiment chemistry.

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