Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 5:19 pm
When the Mars Curiosity made its dramatic and first-of-its-kind landing on Mars in August of 2012, the hope was that the $2.5-billion rover could confirm what scientists had suspected: that there was life on Mars.
Today, in a paper released in the journal Science, researchers explain that if the Red Planet is harboring life, the instruments on the rover have been unable to sniff it out.
NPR's Joe Palca filed this report for our Newscast unit:
Imagine winning the World Series, the lottery and a Nobel Prize all in one day. That's pretty much how scientists and engineers in mission control at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., felt one year ago when the 1 ton, six-wheeled rover named Curiosity landed safely on Mars.
Within minutes, the rover began sending pictures back to Earth. In the past year it has sent back a mountain of data and pictures that scientists are sorting through, trying to get a better understanding of the early climate on Mars.