Water on Mars
Old 08-01-2008, 08:55 AM   #1 (permalink)
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This is a massive story imo. It's something that has been discussed over and over again and now that there is definitive proof of water on Mars is just amazing.


JILL SERJEANT

Reuters

July 31, 2008 at 5:27 PM EDT

LOS ANGELES — NASA scientists said on Thursday they had definitive proof that water exists on Mars after further tests on ice found on the planet in June by the Phoenix Mars Lander.

“We have water,” said William Boynton, lead scientist for the Thermal and Evolved-Gas Analyzer instrument on Phoenix.

“We've seen evidence for this water ice before in observations by the Mars Odyssey orbiter and in disappearing chunks observed by Phoenix last month, but this is the first time Martian water has been touched and tasted,” he said, referring to the craft's instruments.

NASA on Thursday also extended the mission of the Phoenix Mars Lander by five weeks, saying its work was moving beyond the search for water to exploring whether the red planet was ever capable of sustaining life.


This image released by NASA on Thursday is a mosaic of some 400 images taken during the first several weeks after NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander arrived on Mars' northern arctic plain. NASA scientists said the agency was extending the Mars mission of its Phoenix lander until the end of September.

“We are extending the mission through Sept. 30,” Michael Meyer, chief scientist for NASA's Mars exploration program, told a televised news conference.

The extension will add about $2-million (U.S.) to the $420-million cost of landing Phoenix on May 25 for what was a scheduled three-month mission, Mr. Meyer said.

Phoenix is the latest NASA bid to discover whether water – a crucial ingredient for life – ever flowed on Mars and whether life, even in the form of mere microbes, exists or ever existed there.

Phoenix touched down in May on an ice sheet and samples of the ice were seen melting away in photographs taken by the lander's instruments in June.

Dr. Boynton said that water was positively identified after the lander's robotic arm delivered a soil sample on Wednesday to an instrument that identifies vapours produced by heating.

Mission scientists said the extension would give time for more analysis of Martian samples. They plan to dig two additional trenches – dubbed “cupboard” and “neverland” – using the robotic arm on the Phoenix craft.

“We hope to be able to answer the question of whether this was a habitable zone on Mars. It will be for future missions to find if anyone is home on this environment,” Phoenix principal investigator Peter Smith told the news conference.

Mission scientists said in June that Martian soil was more alkaline than expected and had traces of magnesium, sodium, potassium and other elements. They described the findings as a “huge step forward.”

Mr. Meyer said the scientific proof of the existence of water meant that Phoenix could “move from looking for water to seeing whether there were habitats for life.

“We are moving towards understanding whether there were or could be places on Mars that are habitable,” Mr. Meyer said.

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Old 08-01-2008, 09:03 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Wasnt it actually prooved like a month ago, when they saw the ice melt?

Also, I dont know if you heard, but they found there are methane lakes in Titan. wich is the first time they have found something liquid outside the earth. Pretty interesting.

I used to be such an astronomy lover when I was a kid like 12 or 13...
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Old 08-01-2008, 09:11 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Yeah, they saw the ice melt, however, it was still dispute by many because the images were "grainy". This is the definitive proof to those people.

And the Titan discovery is just as interesting.
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Old 08-01-2008, 09:30 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Anybody read Deception Point???
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Old 08-01-2008, 09:37 AM   #5 (permalink)
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If I recall, is it not about a NASA discovery that is fabricated to help in with additional funding?
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Old 08-01-2008, 09:38 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Claudius View Post
If I recall, is it not about a NASA discovery that is fabricated to help in with additional funding?
Yes sir in a nut shell...
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Old 08-01-2008, 10:46 AM   #7 (permalink)
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who cares, why is it big news, why is it so hard to concieve of water on one of the closest masses in the universe to our own. The UNIVERSE. Its big.

gah.

I am saddened by hype
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Old 08-01-2008, 10:58 AM   #8 (permalink)
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ummm, because we werent sure Mars had it so near to the surface? Its a huge step to be able to send missions there. A much needed confirmation.
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Old 08-01-2008, 11:08 AM   #9 (permalink)
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ya.

and they got you as fooled as the rest

whats the old saying???

something about taking care of business at home before yo hea dout to save the planet???
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Old 08-01-2008, 11:15 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Im no fan of NASA but what you are saying is pretty naive.

Imagine if columbus woudnt have wanted to discover a new way to go to India.
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Old 08-01-2008, 11:53 AM   #11 (permalink)
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yes yes, I'm nieve.

carry on.
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Old 08-01-2008, 12:00 PM   #12 (permalink)
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OH common SJ, I cant believe you dont find fascinating the idea of travelling to mars.
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Old 08-01-2008, 12:15 PM   #13 (permalink)
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nope.

not one bit.
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Old 08-01-2008, 12:26 PM   #14 (permalink)
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So you think is better to spend millions on athletes than millions descovering the universe (why are we here, posible solutions to our problems, etc..)?











^wow, Im good with demagogy
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Old 08-01-2008, 12:33 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Until some sort of hyperdrive is invented there is absolutly no sense in investing large somes of money on such petty things such as billions on collecting space dust.
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