NASA’s previous suggestion that the Mars rover had found something on the planet’s surface is now being debunked.
It is now confirmed that NASA scientist John Grotzinger’s previous announcement of a find in the soil sample taken onboard the Mars rover Curiosity, turned out to be nothing more than speculation. A recent press announcement from NASA stated, "Rumors and speculation that there are major new findings from the mission at this early stage are incorrect… At this point in the mission, the instruments on the rover have not detected any definitive evidence of Martian organics."
(NASA's Curiosity Mars rover being tested in Death Valley)
One of the main missions that the rover is to complete on Mars is to find signs of organic molecules left behind when the planet had a presumed shallow sea. Everywhere on earth that liquid water is found, there is always some form of life. The rover has been on the planet now for approximately 4 months, and it is the most technologically advance rover to date. It has a large array of arms and cameras that will be taking samples of air, rock and soil for the next 2 years. One very important mission for the rover will be to study the Gale Crater where NASA believes some form of microbial life may be present.
This latest announcement may have upset a lot of hopeful folks on Earth, but NASA also released new data that the Mercury orbiter, 'Messenger', has found frozen water at the planet's North pole. Messenger was said to have found a very large amount of frozen water there and found what the space agency is calling possible “organic material” as well. The planet Mercury, which is closest to the sun, has an average surface temperature of 427C (800F), so finding any type of frozen water on the planet’s north pole will be a bit of a shock if there is indeed water on Mercury. NASA also feels that its south pole may contain frozen water as well.