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September 9 2012

Nasa's Curiosity rover 'sniffs' Martian air


Nasa's Curiosity rover has measured the Red Planet's atmospheric composition.

The robot sucked the air into its big Sample Analysis at Mars (Sam) instrument to reveal the concentration of different gases.

It is the first time that the chemistry of the atmosphere has been tested from the surface of the planet since the Viking landers in the 1970s.

The Sam analysis is ongoing but no major surprises are expected at this stage - carbon dioxide will dominate.

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