Latest Curiosity Rover Update: Mars’ Bygone Atmosphere

Article written: 12 Apr , 2013
Updated: 23 Dec , 2015
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In this latest video update from the Mars Science Laboratory team, Ashwin Vasavada, the mission’s Deputy Project Scientist, discusses the recent finding that the Red Planet doesn’t have the same atmosphere it used to. Curiosity’s microwave oven-sized Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument analyzed an atmosphere sample and the results provided the most precise measurements ever made of isotopes of argon in the Martian atmosphere.

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7 Responses

  1. Me says

    From the complexity of Curiosity ‘s landing tactics. To its remarkable scientific instruments. What a great accomplishment Curiosity has been. After we have exhausted all scientific findings/research on Mars. The tiny moon Io, should be looked at next. Io should have considerations for sending a Curiosity type probe to.
    That would be a massive undertaking to say the very least. For the least of starters, we’d need a small sub like vehicle. Also a very variable drill to get the sub like vehicle through all that ice to the liquid H2O. The power/energy to accomplish this would also be such a huge undertaking factor. I know it sounds like a fantastic dream. But I believe tiny Io has the best chance for us finding microbe life or even fish like animals. What an accomplishment that would be! Anyone want to give input w/this subject matter? ..take care.

    • JonHanford says

      Sounds like a good idea except that Io likely doesn’t have a subsurface water ocean (probably a partially molten[hot!] silicate ocean beneath a silicate crust): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Io_%28moon%29#Interior

      Maybe another Galilean moon?

      • "Me" says

        Yes, I would agree w/your assessment. A few days ago, a fellow colleague gave me,. ..”a 20-min-skimmed-through-education”-(lol)-with Io’s ice field”. My colleague bud said, there is much H2O just under the ice. Now that word ‘just’ could be ice 1 to 3 miles thick. I didn’t ask if the whole of Io is a round ball of ice w/all H2O beneath. I have a feeling when I click on your “:10-min wikipedia education-(lol)-I will find out. Thanks & take care.

      • "Me" says

        Yes, maybe another moon. Ypou are correct. I stand correct w/the name. …[email protected]”ME”. I have the wrong planet…dah “ME”! Meant Titan one of Saturn’s moons….oops! I just had the wrong name.

      • "Me" says

        Jon..you were correct about Io having no H2O-ice. My mistake. You corrected me.The moon w/H2O ice is “Europa” & NOT Io like I mistakenly thought/typed. Yesterday, the same colleague brought up the subject of water-ice. When he said “Europa” I thought of you correcting my mistaken the other day being Io. …BTW, you still have that ‘all expense paid vacation to Io’ ;-)…lol. ..take care.

  2. Torbjörn Larsson says

    Uh, oh. Another sloppily produced video, pity on the nice PEW! PEW! PEW! subtheme.

    Ar isotope differences is illustrated with what appears to be D/H isotope differences in a HDO water molecule. :-/

  3. Guest says

    I think Curiosity Rover found his lover there ..

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