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Thu Nov 29, 2012, 01:16 PM

NASA's "History Book"-Worthy Discovery Is Really Just a Big Misunderstanding

Remember last week when we told you about how NASA's Curiosity rover had reportedly sent back some very interesting data from Mars in the form of a soil sample that could be, in the apparent words of one of the mission's leaders, "one for the history books"? Yeah, well, now NASA is saying that all the hype is actually just a giant misunderstanding between the scientist and the NPR reporter who interviewed him—a mistake that was then multiplied many times over by each news outlet (again, including us) who picked up the story.
So to recap, Grotzinger was apparently trying to express just how excited he was about the entire mission, not about any one specific discovery; it is the sum of all of Curiosity's past and future discoveries that he thinks will be historic. His particular choice of words—"This data is gonna be one for the history books"—however, along with the suggestion that his team was currently double- and triple-checking data it had received (something that is standard procedure) gave NPR the mistaken impression that there was something specific that NASA was eager to celebrate as a major discovery.
Regardless of whether you're willing to buy into a conspiracy theory (and let's be honest, this is NASA, so some people will), it's pretty clear that anyone hoping for major news of the type originally suggested will have to keep waiting for now. Grotzinger and his team are set to discuss their latest findings on Monday at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco, but a NASA spokesman tells the New York Times that those findings will be "interesting" rather than "earthshaking."



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Reply NASA's "History Book"-Worthy Discovery Is Really Just a Big Misunderstanding (Original post)
Kablooie Nov 2012 OP
caraher Nov 2012 #1

Response to Kablooie (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 11:23 PM

1. Or as Emily Litella always said...

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