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Photo by NASA, taken onboard Curiosity on November 18, 2012. Photo by NASA, taken onboard Curiosity on November 18, 2012.  

NASA scientists find ‘exciting results’ on Mars

NASA Mars rover Curiosity has an exciting new find — but nobody is ready to reveal exactly what it is just yet.

The space agency is receiving the new data from an instrument on Curiosity called Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM), which analyzes the components of soil, rock and air on the planet.

“We’re getting data from SAM as we sit here and speak, and the data looks really interesting,” John Grotzinger, the principal investigator for the rover mission, said to NPR’s Joe Palca last week. “The science team is busily chewing away on it as it comes down.”

Grotzinger said an analysis of a recent soil sample would be “one for the history books,” but it may take several weeks before the NASA team is ready to discuss its find.

The $2.5 billion Curiosity rover landed on Aug. 5 for a two-year mission to find signs of life on Mars.

In September, Curiosity discovered evidence that part of Mars once had a huge amount of flowing water, which could have sustained life.

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