NASA’s Curiosity rover finds new methane spike on Mars


Mars has a methane mystery.

On Tuesday, NASA's Associate Administrator of Science Mission Directorate Thomas Zurbuchen said the US space agency is partnering with Battelle Education and Future Engineers to encourage USA school student's from kindergarten to 12th grade to submit names for the robot.

The rover's launch is silent more than a year away, and there may perchance be a staunch likelihood NASA will portion more ways to receive alive to on the length in-between.

The now unnamed rover will launch in July 2020, with an expected landing in February 2021.

Two partner organizations, Batelle Education in Columbus, Ohio and Future Engineers in Burbank, California, will work with NASA to help run the contest.

If you're interested in in becoming a judge for the contest, applications are now open.

"We're very excited about this exceptional partnership", said George Tahu, Mars 2020 program executive in NASA's Planetary Science Division at the agency's Headquarters in Washington, in a statement. Signs of past or present life?

The now unnamed rover is a robotic scientist weighing more than 2,300 pounds (1,000 kilograms).

It is scheduled to land in February 2021 at Jezero Crater, where it will investigate Martian geology and collect samples of the Red Planet for return to Earth. Curiosity's mission is to determine whether Mars is, or ever was, capable of supporting microbial life.

The most recent spike is larger than Curiosity has ever seen before.

The rover is now being assembled and tested at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California.

The finding of significant quantities of CH4on the surface of the Red Planet might designate current life on the mars due to the means the gas interrelates with sunlight and additional chemicals, as also distinguished in the report of Times.

The Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman & Luminescence for Organics & Chemicals instrument, dubbed SHERLOC, will detect chemicals on Mars that could be linked to life.

This is the first time any materials like this are being sent there.

United Launch Alliance will launch the spacecraft from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in July 2020.

"The fleet of robots orbiting and roving Mars has been on the lookout for methane, the breath of a possible something", writes Dennis Overbye in The New York Times.