YellowKnife Bay - Page 14

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Posts: xxx

Reply: 261

PostPosted: March 8, 2013 11:36 PM 

Oh, this is rich. From the NASA video:

The video opens with the narrator saying, "Organics are carbon-based molecules-key ingredients to life."

This means nothing to the average Joe, you know, all the people that don't care about science. It couldn't be worded anymore esoterically, either. Here's what it says to normal people: "Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, to life." They turn the channel after the first two blahs.

After an organics related geology discussion, the video concludes by saying, "If Curiosity finds organics, it wouldn't prove life existed, but it sure would improve the odds that Mars once had the right ingredients for life."

Okay, so this is an improvemnt in delivery. "But it sure would" is nice and folksy. That's the kind of language the Average Joe can relate to. However, when you get to the substance of that sentence, you quickly discover that NASA threw $2,100,000,000.00 at Mars simply to "improve the odds" that we might actually discovery something in the future? Wasteful.

I'm starting to believe their budget needs to be cut even more. Then they can learn how to earn it back with actual discoveries, not "mprovement in odds."


Posts: 3062

Reply: 262

PostPosted: March 9, 2013 6:53 AM 


I think you've hit the NASA strategy on the nose. Any discovery will be passed off as not being fully indicative of martian life. Even if what clearly looks like a rabbit dances in front of Curi's and oppy's cameras with signs saying Earthlings go home, such a phenomenon will be explained as martian rocks that just happen to look like rabbits are being disturbed by martian wind movements related to dust devils.


Posts: 250

Reply: 263

PostPosted: March 9, 2013 3:10 PM 

If they don't "deliver" next Tuesday (huge press conference - o.O.) and still talk like maybe/could be/perhaps they really will look like morons even at this early(their talk - I wouldn't regard more than 6 months on Mars as early myself).

Things I would expect: of course positive and professional identification of organics (maybe even complex - amino acids); carbonat rocks; clay and of course they really could mention that they are aware of certain peculiar things in the imaging...

Otherwise they - as Dana put it in another topic - could as well go ask the croc at rocknest... Smile


Posts: xxx

Reply: 264

PostPosted: March 11, 2013 3:01 PM 

Yes, they WILL announce "complex organics." They will discuss their findings in the most esoteric way possible. They will then add in the caveat that even though they wasted 2.5 billion dollars on this machine, it cannot tell them whether these complex organics are from Earth or Mars.

What they WILL NOT do is explain to everyone else what this means or why it matters, so nobody will care. The only bone they will throw everybody else is the following quote that the media will run with: "this discovery of organics does not prove life existed, but it sure improves the odds that Mars once had the right ingredients for life!"

Waste of taxpayer money.


Posts: xxx

Reply: 265

PostPosted: March 11, 2013 4:16 PM 

They will announce with certainty something about ancient water, though. Watch.

"They may or may not be organics from Mars, we don't know that for sure, but thing we know for a fact is that this rock sample was immersed in ANCIENT LIQUID WATER on a warmer, wetter Mars for approximately [insert time immersed]."

Mark Wilson

Posts: xxx

Reply: 266

PostPosted: March 11, 2013 5:45 PM 

lol @ wildcat. How many times have we discovered evidence for ancient water on Mars now?


Posts: xxx

Reply: 267

PostPosted: March 11, 2013 9:25 PM 

Enough over the past decade know that Mars had to be habitable with so much gushing, flowing, beautiful water.

Oh, maybe that's the big announcement! Because determining "habitability" is one of Curiosity's HUGE goals that nobody knew the answer to before we spent 2.5 billion dollars.

Earth shattering.


Posts: 250

Reply: 268

PostPosted: March 12, 2013 3:20 PM 

Ok its official: Yellowknife Bay was habitable in ancient times! Wow
Prime-mission completed so we can move on to the real interesting stuff, can we? Shocked

I sometimes think those NASA "Martians" still life in the 1990s or even before.

Some interesting results though: all basic elements for microbial life present NOW. What made me wonder a little was the organics results. Essentially they were the same as in the Rocknest surface sample so no benefit of drilling but a persistent signal while Earthly contamination should be ruled out meanwhile.
The facts are solidifying that Viking actually did detect low level native organics back in the days and those didn't rule out any biologic interpretations of the biology tests ... Levin will have his day I guess. Smile


Posts: xxx

Reply: 269

PostPosted: March 13, 2013 8:40 AM 

The A Side Computer is still being fixed with further Software Patches being sent up however there is still no Science going on.



Posts: xxx

Reply: 270

PostPosted: March 13, 2013 8:49 AM 

Thanks for that Kevin.

It's amazing how Nasa engineers can recover from radiation damage by isolating the memory banks affected.


Posts: xxx

Reply: 271

PostPosted: March 15, 2013 11:53 AM 

Well it looks like it will be month's before the trek to Mt Sharpe will begin Yellow Knife Bay thrown up some interesting results and the scientists want more samples but the A Side glitch is still to be resolved before science can start again. During April chatting with Earth will be a problem as we shall be behind the Sun.

[link] ?cmpid=514648

Mark Wilson

Posts: xxx

Reply: 272

PostPosted: March 15, 2013 5:26 PM 

Maybe 2 months of no science activities.


Posts: 344

Reply: 273

PostPosted: March 18, 2013 4:14 PM 

There was some kind of MSL update today:

Mars Curiosity Rover Update from the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference
Monday, March 18 10 a.m. PDT (1 p.m. EDT)

The briefing participants are:
Jim Bell, Co-Investigator, Mastcam, Mahli, Mardi, Arizona State University, Tempe
Melissa Rice, Science Team Collaborator, Caltech
Mariek Schmidt, Science Team Participating Scientist, Brock University, Saint Catharines, Ontario, Canada
Maxim Litvak, Deputy Principal Investigator, Dynamic Albedo of Neutrons, Science Research Insititute, Moscow, Russia

They seem to have released some of the DAN results. I found this:



Posts: 344

Reply: 274

PostPosted: March 18, 2013 6:48 PM 

More on the updates at


Posts: 3062

Reply: 275

PostPosted: March 19, 2013 10:47 AM 

Seems like there is an appreciable amount of bound or other water in the terrain over which Curi has travelled so far. This, along with the REMs data that seems to indicate that conditions might allow the existence of transient surface water films on a regular basis, suggests that in addition to the site being habitable by microbes, it may possible be inhabited by such current organisms.

Alas, the Imagers on Oppy were not designed to test this.


r lewis

Posts: 202

Reply: 276

PostPosted: March 19, 2013 5:40 PM 

Wow, transient films on clays are an ideal habitat for life. Lichens would love that.


Posts: 344

Reply: 277

PostPosted: March 19, 2013 10:14 PM

"Dazzling" white surface in broken rock.


Posts: 250

Reply: 278

PostPosted: March 20, 2013 6:47 AM 

That "dazzling" bright surfaces of broken rocks are quite striking - under lesser illumination (early or later in the Sols) it tends to shift into the blue quite strongly if white-balancing is applied.

While there is not much new material from MSL to process (still awaiting the release of raw Mastcam data) I took the time and reviewed an interesting slide from the planning phase of MSL.

This should really should be reviewed by the MSL teams for refreshment as well as I think it is mostly significant for future work in the Yellowknife Bay area:

Microbially-Induced Sedimentary Structures (MISS)- among other things explained in the slides) could be most significant regarding lots of features visible in YkB...


Posts: 344

Reply: 279

PostPosted: March 20, 2013 4:47 PM

Update from the LPSC.


Posts: 344

Reply: 280

PostPosted: March 20, 2013 7:42 PM 

MSL Release 1, Part 2 release to the PDS

Part 2 consists of derived data sets from the following instruments:
Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS)
Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin)
Hazard Avoidance Cameras (Hazcam)
Navigation Cameras (Navcam)
Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS)
Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM)

Part 2 also includes raw data for:
Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin)

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