Curiosity Doesn’t Find Methane on Mars

Methane, a sign of a potentially liveable habitat, has been on the list for many a scavenger hunt on Mars. Previous tests over the years have indicated a presence of methane on the planet, but recent tests from NASA’s Curiosity Rover have shown no detection of the gas.

NASA's Curiosity rover travels over the surface of Mars conducting research.

NASA’s Curiosity rover travels over the surface of Mars conducting research. Photo found in NASA’s Curiosity Gallery.

According to a NASA press release

, the Curiosity Rover tested the Martian atmosphere six times from October 2012 to

June 2013, and each test came back with the same no-methane results.  Previous tests from other spacecrafts have been conducted from Earth and from orbit around Mars, which is expected to be the cause of the varied results.

Scientists report that the highest amount of methane that could be present without being detected by the rover would still only amount to about 50 million times less than the amount of methane entering Earth’s atmosphere.

The Curiosity Rover has been on Mars since August 2012, conducting tests and research on the planet’s environment and it’s habitability.

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