NASA's Mars rover analyzes soil samples

December 3, 2012 12:48:49 PM PST
NASA says analysis of soil samples gathered by its Mars rover Curiosity indicate there may be organic compounds on the planet.

At a meeting Monday morning in San Francisco, NASA said Curiosity's discovery of chemical diversity in the Martian soil forms what the space agency called a solid baseline for continued exploration.

The $2.5 billion Curiosity landed on Mars in August. Its mission is to determine if Mars has ever been able to support microbial life. It's already discovered an ancient stream bed where water may have flowed thousands of years ago.