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discovery of novel organic molecules by Curiosity

During a collection of samples from the Curiosity rover on Mars in 2017, a malfunction in the maneuver would have made it possible to discover new organic molecules still unseen on the surface of the Red Planet.

In almost ten years of presence on Mars, the rover Curiosity has not yet finished surprising. A study published in Nature Astronomy 1is November reports the results of analyzes carried out on samples taken by the rover in 2017. During the sampling operation, the Martian rocks would have been stored in a receptacle containing a liquid, intended to carry out experiments named in English wet experiment (literally: “wet experimentation”). It is a process that has the particularity of fully preserving the material. Put in the presence of each other, the … “data-image =” https://cdn.futura-sciences.com/buildsv6/images/midioriginal/3/6/e/36ebed9601_91947_reaction-chimique.jpg “data- url = “https://news.google.com/sciences/definitions/chimie-reaction-chimique-15845/” data-more = “Read more”>chemical reaction induced would have made it possible to observe the presence of organic molecules contained in the samples.

Two new types of organic molecules

Arriving in Gale Crater in August 2012, Curiosity immediately embarked on the search for traces of past life, nine years before Perseverance and Zhurong. Through chemical studies, Theories established by physics are applied within well-defined frameworks.
La physique…” data-image=”https://cdn.futura-sciences.com/buildsv6/images/midioriginal/8/9/6/896f032c90_91933_physique-def.jpg” data-url=”https://news.google.com/sciences/definitions/physique-physique-15839/” data-more=”Lire la suite”>physical and geological, the rover’s task was to detect these biosignatures. In 2018, from sedimentary rocks taken from the crater had been stored in the instrument Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) in order to analyze their compositions. Some rocks thus contained several molecules such as Generalities
Symbol: C Atomic number: 6 Electrons per energy level: 2.4 Atomic mass: 12.011 u Most stable isotopes: 12C stable with six … “data-image =” https://cdn.futura-sciences.com/buildsv6/ images / midioriginal / 2/1/9 / 2198868bcb_69707_carbone.jpg “data-url =” https://news.google.com/sciences/definitions/chimie-carbone-3873/ “data-more =” Read more “>carbone, sulfide, benzene or thiophene. This discovery had then aroused the interest of the scientific community, pointing to possible biosignatures.

In 2017, Curioisity experienced a malfunction during an artificial sand collection operation
Sand can also be obtained artificially, by … “data-image =” https://cdn.futura-sciences.com/buildsv6/images/midioriginal/4/e/9/4e957f8c38_92834_sable.jpg “data- url = “https://news.google.com/planete/definitions/geologie-sable-6009/” data-more = “Read more”>sands in the dunes of Bagnold. The engineers therefore knowingly placed the samples in tubes containing a liquid agent called N-methyl-N- (trimethylsilyl) trifluoroacetamid, the latter thus allowing chemical analyzes to be carried out when it is mixed with other chemical components. No biosignature for researchers at the Nasa, but the discovery of ammonia and conjugated acid and base
Any acid has a conjugate base … “data-image =” https://cdn.futura-sciences.com/buildsv6/images/midioriginal/b/2/8/b28a48dafa_50034238_acide-base-fs.jpg “data- url = “https://news.google.com/sciences/definitions/chimie-acide-750/” data-more = “Read more”>acid benzoic. The latter, derived from benzene, is present on Earth in certain plants such as the Benefits of … “data-image =” https://cdn.futura-sciences.com/buildsv6/images/midioriginal/8/e/ 0 / 8e08d15e97_134738_cranberry.jpg “data-url =” https://news.google.com/sante/definitions/nutrition-cranberry-15772/ “data-more =” Read more “>cranberry or the cocoa tree. Ammonia is generally observed as gas, emanating from the earth’s crust and other sources such as the Function of fermentation
Fermentation makes it possible to produce energy (in the form of ATP) even in the absence of oxygen, but with a lower yield. It is used by a very … “data-image =” https://cdn.futura-sciences.com/buildsv6/images/midioriginal/a/f/9/af9b377765_50035464_fermentation-alcool-vin-kyle-l-cc -nd-2-02.jpg “data-url =” https://news.google.com/sante/definitions/biologie-fermentation-6817/ “data-more =” Read more “>fermentation bacterial or some hydrocarbons such as Where Does Oil Come From?
Its formation is the result of the slow transformation of organic matter, often vegetable, which … “data-image =” https://cdn.futura-sciences.com/buildsv6/images/midioriginal/0/6/2 /062139641c_50036850_pompe-petrole-paul-lowry-flicr-cc-by-20.jpg “data-url =” https://news.google.com/sciences/definitions/chimie-petrole-9749/ “data-more =” Read more “>oil and These rocks are fossil fuels that were formed in the Carboniferous, by slow transformation of dead sedimented organisms, under the action of pressure and … “data-image =” https: //cdn.futura -sciences.com/buildsv6/images/midioriginal/1/5/4/154b1399c3_50035379_charbon-carriere-graissessac-pinpin-wikimedia-gfdl-cc-3.jpg “data-url =” https://news.google.com/ planete / definitions / developpement-durable-charcoal-6636 / “data-more =” Read more “>coal.

If these molecules are not the sure mark of traces of life on Mars 3 billion years ago, at the time when de water was present on the Red Planet, on the other hand, they will be able to inform scientists about the geological evolution of Mars.

A trio of robots in search of life on Mars

Curiosity should continue to roam the desolate lands of Mars looking for biosignatures. The researchers have confirmed the effectiveness of this method, without clearly stating whether it will be repeated or improved, the study explaining that ” derivatization performed […] has proven to be a powerful tool extending our field of research into organic or biological molecules ”.

In parallel with the work carried out by Curiosity, Perseverance and Zhurong, who arrived in February and May 2021, are also busy looking for traces of past life on Mars. Rocks drilled by Perseverance show that water was present on Mars 3 billion years ago thanks to the discovery of salts minerals in the Jezero crater. Regarding Zhurong, the Chinese National Space Agency (CNSA) has not announced a major breakthrough in the quest for biosignatures, but thanks to the official extension of its mission, the rover continues to explore the plains of Utopia Planitia before its autonomy is exhausted.

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