Talk about good timing.
This exclusive video sneak peek of the Discovery Channel’s “Red Planet Rover” — debuting Thursday, Dec. 18 at 10:oo p.m. Eastern and Pacific Time — depicts the Curiosity Mars rover’s tantalizing discovery of gray powder after drilling into the planet’s surface for the first time.
The one-hour special debuted just two days after NASA announced that Curiosity detected short-lived increases in methane concentrations in the martian atmosphere, although scientists cautioned this does not mean the methane is produced by life.
Discovery Channel says their cameras captured the methane discovery and that Thursday’s premiere would include this late-breaking piece of news.
NASA’S CURIOSITY ROVER FINDS ORGANICS ON MARS AND DISCOVERY CHANNEL GETS UNPRECEDENTED ACCESS EVERY STEP OF THE WAY
It’s a stunning breakthrough that will forever change the way we look at the world: on Tuesday, NASA’s Curiosity rover found organics on Mars, the necessary building blocks of life.
Discovery Channel cameras were rolling every step of the way with unprecedented access — experiencing the ups and downs of the expedition through the eyes of the science team and from the perspective of the Curiosity rover itself. But what is ultimately discovered, will truly change everything.
Discovery Channel press release
An instrument on Curiosity measured two spikes in the concentration of methane in the atmosphere, ten times above usual levels; the methane concentrations decayed within months.
Scientists said the methane source must be localized, but have no data on what could be causing the methane release. Methane on Mars could be produced by microbes living below the martian surface, but also through geological processes like the interaction of minerals with water.