The space agency just recently tweeted that it will hold a public briefing centered around the rover Curiosity to inform the public on what’s going on with the mission. The conference will be streamed live today at 1 PM ET, or in less than an hour from the time of writing. You can also watch the stream directly from ZME Science through the embedded clip below.
The briefing will feature Michael Meyer who is the lead scientist of the Mars Exploration Program, John Grotzinger who is the Curiosity project scientist, David Blake who is the principal investigator for Curiosity’s Chemistry and Mineralogy investigation, and Paul Mahaffy who is the principal investigator for Curiosity’s Sample Analysis.
Most likely, the recent Curiosity computer malfunction will be discussed, which is something we’ve all be waiting for a while. A week ago, one of the rover’s two computers, side A, encountered a corrupted memory glitch which forced the engineering team at JPL to put Curiosity in sleep mode. Two software patches have been readied since then and are expected to be uploaded during the course of this week. Even if this attempt fails, however, Curiosity still have its side B computer, which is independent of side A, and thus can continue to allow the rover to operate.
Seeing how David Blake is also one of the speakers, though, makes me believe a discussion related to the rover’s first drilled sampled will also surface. We’ve had our fair share of bombastic claims from the Curiosity mission team, albeit unintentional, so this time we’ll keep our expectation low. It’s not like they’re going to announce they’ve found organic life in the sample… yeah, no chance… *cough *cough.