NASA to announce new Mars rover discoveries

Curiosity's drill over the laboratory intake

Usually, NASA posts the results of the new experiments and new findings on its site or on its social networks but it's calling for press conferences only when it has something big to share. However, what is known for sure is that NASA will not disclose anything until the so-called "Live Discussion on New Mars Science Results" which will take place on June 7th, at 2 PM EDT.

Speculation is now rife as to what NASA could have found on Mars, with many amateur astronomers hopeful that evidence of extraterrestrial life has finally been uncovered.

After more than a year, NASA's Curiosity rover has successfully delivered rock powder extracted from the Martian surface to one of its two onboard labs, regaining the critical ability to analyze surface samples on the red planet.

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Expect Thursday's announcement at around 2pm.

Curiosity has a few key tasks on Mars: it's meant to study the Martian climate, check for signs of life, search for ice and water, and serve as a kind of planetary scout to see if Mars could ever sustain human life. For the first four years, the nuclear-powered rover operated longer and better than expected, but in December 2016, a problem occurred. Delivery to its chemistry laboratory will follow in the week ahead. On May 20, the rover took the first rock sample since October 2016.

"It was a feat, it represents months and months of work our team".

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"The scientific team was confident that the engineers contend - are so confident that we went back to the pattern that we missed before". The Curiosity rover is part of the MSL mission.

"If they announced that, once that has been satisfied to the general public, people who pay their taxes to send the $2.5billion probe to Mars, they are going to say okay well we discovered life, we don't need to go there anymore".

Ashwin Vasavada, a geophysicist at Mars Science Laboratory, JPL. "From what we know now, the answer is yes", Michael Meyer, lead scientist for NASA's Mars Exploration Program at NASA headquarters, said of Curiosity's discoveries in 2013. "It is rather impressive to have a moment such as this, five years to the assignment".

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