The Curiousness of Curiosity

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Curiosity has reached the base of Mount Sharp, its promised land, the land where I hope it will at last perform its promised key analyses. Until now, Curiosity has been

Curiosity has reached the base of Mount Sharp, its promised land, the land where I hope it will at last perform its promised key analyses. Until now, Curiosity has been primarily an engineering mission, demonstrating an amazing landing technique and showing it can drive around the planet. The analyses reported allow NASA to state that the mission has achieved its ‘‘primary goal’’ of determining that Mars was once habitable. However, the science output has been limited and scarce. For more than two years on the Red Planet, Curiosity has unaccountably deferred performing analyses that are most directly concerned with evidence for life: the liquid extraction assay for organic compounds and the high-resolution imaging of green spots or areas Curiosity has shown on many of the nearby rocks.