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Don Davis

Posts: 17

Reply: 21

PostPosted: January 15, 2013 1:40 AM 

Cassini costs 2.6 billion. The Webb Telescope will also cost more. MSL might have cost less if they tightened up procedures during its creation, who knows. At least the spare parts rover they are going to send will be a lot cheaper.

You seem fixated on life and on NASA 'knowing it's there'.
BTW, there is no automatic ruling out of some kind of exotic life on Titan, strange worlds like that have much to reveal.
If you are one of those people who think NASA is engaged in some conspiracy to 'hide the truth', as some of your posts above seem to hint, please reconsider the sources you may have been shaping your ideas from.


Posts: xxx

Reply: 22

PostPosted: January 15, 2013 2:16 AM 

My source is common sense. I never said anyone was engaged in any conspiracy. Never. I did, however, comment on the tendency of some to label others as "conspiracy theorists" and "those people" when it comes to life on Mars. You didn't fail to disappoint. You labeled me as such despite the fact I clearly said it wasn't a conspiracy and clearly explained my rationale.

They are not hiding anything. They know it is there. They know what it is ("microbial") They need to know more to prove it as a scientific fact that will be unassailable when reviewed. If it were like say, the Amazon, they could just up and say it. All kinds of things moving around. Arctic life moves very slowly. People perceive life as something that moves around. Not a thrombolite, a sponge, or a microbial mat.

But, yeah, the idea of life on Mars is so outrageously ridiculous that they hired people who have devoted their entire careers to studying various forms of life that eke out a living in hellish environments similar to Mars. They test their cameras out on various fossils. Why not test the cameras out on a 49ers helmet? Because they don't expect to find one there. Huge conspiracy.


Posts: 250

Reply: 23

PostPosted: January 15, 2013 7:12 AM 

Science for sciences sake? Lets face it: everybody is interested in whether there is et-life out there no matter if academic or none. So the path should be the search for life in our solar system and beyond with open eyes for nice related or unrelated science to be gathered along the way. In my opinion it cannot be that a billion dollar machine send to the surface of another planet which has been positively probed for signs of life before - albeit with some difficulties in interpreting the results (Viking) - and further indications of possible life (water, biogenic tracer gases) is not able to look for life or its mission objectives prevent it from doing so but then again its not my tax dollars. My tax dollars/euros come into the game with the ExoMars program and I would be highly upset if it wouldn't look for life on Mars (extinct/extant).


Posts: 344

Reply: 24

PostPosted: January 15, 2013 4:28 PM 

Every one of the telecon press releases begins with this statement:

"The Mars Science Laboratory Project and its Curiosity rover are five months into a two-year prime mission to investigate whether conditions may have been favorable for microbial life"

Clearly the relevance to discovering E.T. life is the way the mission is being justified to the public.

However, the day-to-day activities in practice seem to be more oriented towards answering geological questions. For example, the more sensitive atmospheric measurements of methane and the Wet Chemistry measurements of soil seem to have been deferred for now.

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