NASA’s thrilling new discoveries are embargoed until later today at 7pm BST (2pm EDT) when the agency’s space boffins will go live online.
But tidbits of information have leaked from NASA, teasing what the Mars announcement might be about.
The biggest hint is a leak which suggests the live conference today is all about “new science results from NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover”.
NASA teased in a tweet today the announcement will reveal “two new” findings.
The space agency posted: “Join us tomorrow at 2pm ET for a lively discussion about two new Mars science results from the Mars Curiosity rover on the Red Planet.”
Earlier on Monday, NASA proudly boasted the Curiosity Rover’s drilling tools were back in action after a whole year of inactivity.
NASA mobile research platform on Mars is now drilling into the surface of the Red Planet to study the mineral composition of powdered rock samples.
Jim Erickson, project manager of the Mars Science Laboratory mission, praised NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory scientists for figuring out a new way for Curiosity to collect samples.
The NASA expert said: “This was no small feat. It represents months and months of work by our team to pull this off.
“JPL’s engineers had to improvise a new way for the rover to drill rocks on Mars after a mechanical problem took the drill offline in December 2016.”
The rover began drilling into the planet again last month on May 20, which has led some to speculate NASA has come across samples of microbial life.
We also know who will attend the live discussion further hinting about the nature of the discovery.
The esteemed members of the panel are Paul Mahaffy, director of the Solar System Exploration Division at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Jen Eigenbrode, research scientist at Goddard, Chris Webster, from NASA’s Pasadena-based Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and Ashwin Vasavada, Mars Science Laboratory project scientist.
The particular combination of scientists suggests NASA may have uncovered some crucial information about the planet’s climate and atmospherics.
Each of the panellists expertise focuses on areas relating to Mars’ geologic studies, planetary atmospheres and the potential habitability of the Red Planet.
NASA has pledged to send humans to Mars by the year 2030 and a number of unmanned rover missions will precede this goalpost starting from 2020.
The space agency could be about to reveal news concerning the planet’s ability to house humans in the near future.
NASA’s latest discoveries are embargoed from the public until later this afternoon by the science journal Science.
Ahead of the conference, NASA has asked space enthusiasts to send in any burning questions they might have about Mars to have them answered live on air.
Today’s conference will be chaired by NASA’s assistant director of science for communications, Michelle Thaller.
The NASA news announcement all also stream live on Facebook Live, Periscope, Ustream and Twitch TV.
US audiences with access to NASA’s terrestrial NASA Television broadcasting can also watch the conference live on TV.