NASA's Curiosity Rover Finds Largest amounts of Methane ever on Mars

Published on June 27, 2019
The Curiosity Rover of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) of the United States has found the largest amounts of Methane ever measured during its mission on Mars.
NASA's Curiosity Rover Finds Largest amounts of Methane ever on Mars

Details:

  • Although Methane has been detected by the Curiosity team many times over the course of NASA's Mars Exploration Program but this time unusually high levels of Methane- about 21 parts per billion units by volume (ppbv) were reported.
  • 1 ppbv means that if we take a volume of air on Mars then 1 billionth of the volume of air is Methane.

Why finding Methane is important?

  • Finding such high levels of Methane is exciting because microbial life is an important source of Methane on Earth, thus it may help scientists to look for the possibility of life outside Earth.

Still, there is a catch!

  • The Methane on Mars can also be created through interactions between rocks and water and since Curiosity does not have instruments that can definitively say what exactly is the source of Methane, or even if it is coming from a local source within the Gale Crater or elsewhere on the planet, it becomes impossible to tell if the Methane source is either biology or geology, or whether it is even ancient or modern.

About the Curiosity Rover:

  • It is a part of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission.
  • It is a car-sized rover designed to explore a crater on Mars called Gale.
  • It was launched on 26th November 2011 and landed on Aeolis Palus inside the Gale crater on Mars in August 2012.
  • Although the planned mission lifespan for Curiosity rover, once it lands on Mars, is 1 Martian year (i.e. 687 days) however, in December 2012 Curiosity's 2-year mission was extended indefinitely and the rover is still operational.

Question:

Q. What is the name of the Rover of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) of the United States which has found the largest amounts of Methane ever measured during its mission on Mars?
a. Finder
b. Curiosity
c. Explorer
d. Digger

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