Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
JPL: Curiosity rover has not found organic compounds on Mars
First Published Nov 29 2012 07:57 am • Last Updated Nov 29 2012 03:01 pm

Curiosity hasn’t yet found any organic compounds on Mars, JPL confirmed Thursday.

"Rumors and speculation that there are major new findings from the mission at this early stage are incorrect," the space agency said in an announcement for Curiosity’s next news conference.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

The update comes one day after JPL director Charles Elachi reportedly told conference attendees in Rome that the rover may have found organics, a major clue that life may have once existed on the Red Planet.

Curiosity project scientist John Grotzinger set off speculation about major news last week when he told National Public Radio that results would be "one for the history books."

"At this point in the mission, the instruments on the rover have not detected any definitive evidence of Martian organics," JPL said in its news release.

The news conference will be Monday in San Francisco, at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union.

Scientists are expected to share results from Curiosity’s "full array of analytical instruments" during its investigation at a sandy patch of soil called Rocknest.

The rover spent about 40 days at Rocknest, conducting its first test with its Sample Analysis at Mars suite of instruments.

SAM, which has a mass spectrometer, laser spectrometer and gas chromatograph, can detect the presence of organics in gaseous forms, such as methane.

Curiosity is on a two-year mission in low-elevation Gale Crater, and scientists believe their best chance to find organics will be at Mt. Sharp, in the center of the crater.

story continues below
story continues below

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.