Nightly News | November 28, 2012
>>> we'll leave you tonight with a modest question, are we alone with life forms in the universe? turns out the people running the mars rover has found something out. one of them has told us to expect something big. the story from the lab in pasadena, here is nbc's mike taibbi .
>> reporter: a year after its launch, the latest photos from the mars rover curiosity are stunning, the first samples of desert sand scooped for analyzing.
>> the state is going to be one for the history books, it is looking really good.
>> reporter: not surprisingly, the blog went wild, had they found evidence of life on the planet most like earth? perhaps some guessed, carbon based molecules known as organics.
>> this is one indicator, doesn't verify it.
>> reporter: but after the initial burst of excitement, there was a bit of a walkback today at the lab in pasadena.
>> we are getting closer to understand what it takes, how to explore the organic compounds .
>> reporter: but not yet proof of life?
>> definitely not proof of life.
>> reporter: still, they are interested in the very possibility, one explored by science in films ranging from " war of the worlds ," to modern fiction like mars attacks , and by entrepreneurs who see the human colonies on mars within 20 years.
>> we're on the way to establishing a self-sustaining group.
>> reporter: now, they could provide answers to be announced at an academic conference next monday.
>> if they find life exists on mars, that would be extraordinary.
>> reporter: evidence, perhaps, but the odds of proof in the first pinch of martian sound? there is a much better chance of winning the powerball lottery .