NASA makes Mars discovery 'for the history books'
22nd Nov 2012 | 14:14
Have they found life on Mars?
NASA has caused a stir after hinting at a 'historic' discovery made by the Mars Curiosity rover.
Scientists studying data collected by the rover's Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instruments have apparently made a major find on the planet, but are so far remaining frustratingly tight-lipped about exactly what it is.
Curiosity's £1.6 billion extraplanetary mission hopes to determine if the Martian world could ever have supported life.
Unsurprisingly, this announcement teaser has people all a-flutter over the possibility that the team has discovered signs of extra terrestrial life - especially as lead investigator John Grotzinger described the find as "one for the history books".
One (more) giant leap?
The Curiosity mission has already revealed that the Red Planet's atmosphere is not as radioactive as experts once thought, adding weight to speculation that Mars once supported life.
Some commentators have suggested that scientists have discovered the existence of methane – a gas created by organic matter.
Scientists are now double-checking samples of rock and soil ahead of the big announcement set for December 3.
The Curiosity team is giving nothing away for now, meaning we all face an excruciating wait until the big day rolls around.