The Mars rover Curiosity drilled into its first rock a month ago. Now scientists will reveal what's inside.
Gathering at NASA headquarters Tuesday, the rover team will detail the minerals and chemicals found in a pinch of ground-up rock.
The results come seven months after Curiosity made a dramatic landing in an ancient crater near the equator. It has been slow going since then as engineers learn to handle the car-size rover.
Scientists are thrilled with the latest achievement—a first on Mars. It involved boring a hole, scooping the powder and running it through Curiosity's instruments.
By analyzing the rock, researchers hope to determine whether the landing spot was ever habitable. They already have one hint—an ancient streambed that Curiosity crossed to get to the rock.
Explore further: Liquid crystal bubble OASIS in space