Latest News About Mars Science Laboratory, NASA's Newest Mars Rover
The Mars rover Curiosity, also known as the Science Laboratory, will launch in late 2011 and land on the Red Planet in August 2012.
The annual fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union lasts all week.
Don't expect a historic announcement, agency officials say.
Curiosity hasn't yet found organic compounds in the Martian soil.
The scientists and engineers who operate Curiosity are finally adjusting back to Earth time after months of working according to Martian time. Because a day on Mars lasts about 40 minutes longer, work shifts for the MSL team were based on Mars days
Curiosity launched on Nov. 26, 2011, and landed on Mars Aug. 5 of this year.
Experts offer guesses about NASA's major Red Planet find.
The six-wheeled robot will scout out possible target rocks for its first drilling activity.
Mission scientist for the Mars Science Laboratory, Dr. John Grotzinger, talks to SPACE.com about how the instrumentation on the rover made the find that he calls "one for the history books". Results to be announced early December.
The news is apparently big, but we won't hear any details for several weeks.
Since arriving on the Red Planet in August, Curiosity's been analyzing its environment with an array of sensors. Pressure readings indicate the presence of dust devils, but the twisters likely haven't been dusty enough to photograph yet.
Initial findings suggest levels comparable to those experienced on the International Space Station.
Curiosity's SAM instrument ingested its first pinch of dirt on Nov. 9.
The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) is a suite of three instruments that is studying the Martian atmosphere. Carbon Dioxide has been measured in abundance and the rover is actively searching for methane, seen from Earth and Space, telescopically.
After operating on Mars time for three months, Curiosity's mission controllers are finally working more regular hours.
The 1-ton robot will keep sniffing the Red Planet's air.
Like a tourist, the robot stretched out its arm to capture itself and its surroundings.
The CheMin (Chemistry and Mineralogy) instrument aboard the Mars Science Laboratory has delivered its first results on the make up of the Martian soil it sampled.