If you are looking forward to hearing about the next big space mission, you don’t have too long to wait. In 2012, an unmanned mission to Mars is planned. Though there have already been Rovers sent to Mars, to help map the planet, the upcoming mission is a lot more exciting for many people interested in space, and space travel. Currently being worked on and close to completion, the instrument named the Sample Analysis at Mars, or SAM, is expected to give the world some great new information about the red planet.
SAM will be landing on Mars in 2012 on Curiosity. It will be accompanied by other instruments to help us understand the planet a little better. It is expected that the Curiosity mission will make some great and amazing discoveries for the world. You may be wondering at this point what exactly SAM is, and how it can help us understand Mars a little better.
SAM is designed to be a mobile, automated laboratory. It will be carried by the rover Curiosity, and the two of them will make their way across Mars. While there, SAM will be able to give us information and more of an insight as to whether or not Mars has the correct environment to be able to support life on a microbial level. In fact, it will be able to tell us if the plant has ever had this capability, and possibly even why it does not now, if it did at one point.
Currently the machine is in its final phases of testing. All of the components are configured to the condition that they will be in when the Rover heads to Mars. The final environmental testing has been started, to make sure that the mobile lab will be fully ready for both flight and the environment on Mars.