More results for the possibility of Life on Mars - Page 19

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PostPosted: March 9, 2012 8:18 AM 

Really sad but probably true Kevin. Confused

If you ask me they should have presented things like this from the Phoenix lander microscope:

and proposed some astrobiology missions based on the Phoenix design or smaller with smart miniature instrumentation (cheap) and to interesting locations like the reoccurring dark dune spots or slope linae of the middle-high southern latitudes.

regarding the linked timelapse gifs: I know they are due to sample storage and vibrations though I do not understand why only certain spots are moving and to make it even weirder in a biologic kind of way expected of microbiology. Tested and verified by persons familiar with microscopic studies of bacteria...
Rolling Eyes

Kevin Author Profile Page

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PostPosted: March 9, 2012 10:42 AM 

Mmmmm they are very thought provoking time lapses but in the World of a skeptic real easy to shoot down, to a degree we see what we want to see and vice versa.

Smaller cheaper yes! and lots of them the biggest cost is launch and landing so big rocket packed with as many small probes you can fit in. Get your ship into Mars orbit and one by one release them over different parts of the planet using small parachutes and airbags.

You cannot study one part of Earth and say I know about Earth a reasonable cross section needs to be taken to get the full picture. Very frustrating that everything has to be a bigger than before mission how about more science than before mission?


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PostPosted: March 12, 2012 7:48 AM 

Another interesting abstract from this years LPSC reports of spectral fingerprints of endolithic communities in gypsum(!):


The reported spectral feature - if i got it right from the plot - looks like a small dip (drop in reflectance) against the trend at around 670 nm atrributed to chlorophyll and/or other uv protective pigments.

Winston: just for curiosity, maybe a hint of this could be visible in your crude spectra of homestake or other available normalized/radiometric adjusted reflectance plots of it?


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PostPosted: March 12, 2012 8:55 AM 

Yet another abstract concludes that the Martian surface maybe habitable for terrestrial microorganisms:

"Based on the current results, it
appears that the geochemistries of martian surface fines will not act to overtly inactivate terrestrial microorganisms on Mars, and suggest that the soils on Mars
are not unusually or severely biotoxic. Thus, the habitability of the martian regolith/soil should be similar to
terrestrial soils of similar chemistries. Since microbial life on Earth has been recovered from all surface soils,
regardless of geochemistries, we conclude that soil geochemistries on Mars will not be growth limiting factors for terrestrial microorganisms (when transported) or extant Mars microbiota (if present)."

From the Levin and Viking biology experiments point of view one could ask: where are those mysterious chemical oxidants which were accounted for the LR responses and the general organics unfriendly Martian surface? Is it still too far off to account the LR results for a biologic response? Smile


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PostPosted: March 12, 2012 5:40 PM


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PostPosted: March 12, 2012 8:50 PM 

Sorry, I was saving the link and had a mental meltdown.

Kevin Author Profile Page

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PostPosted: March 15, 2012 11:39 AM 

No big label missions to Mars for the foreseable future.

[link] ?_r=2&partner=rss&emc=rss


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PostPosted: March 15, 2012 6:11 PM 

The future for space certainly does look bleak. Other than low and geostationary Earth orbit there is no payback whatsoever for commercial investment. Apart form the heydays of the race for the moon the NASA budget has been pretty consistent in value as seen in the link which uses $ 2007.

The intreresting thing is the payback for investment at the end of the article.

There will be a significant gap before NASA could put a man in orbit again, let alone conduct an interplanetary mission. But gaps are a feature of interplanetary endeavour. The longevity of the MER program was unplanned and unexpected andd in fact if some extremely clever engineer had not left very low data rate backdoor into the MER the mission would have lasted only a few days. Curiosity missed the planned launch window so there would have been nothing on the ground on Mars for a decade. The DSN is getting long in the tooth and in need of a bit of refurbishment. Thank goodness mars orbitors are long lived as replacements will be few and far between. And given the fact that europe is an economic basket case I would not put any money on Exo Mars proceeding.

NASA has just over $4 billion for space operations in this budget. If it comes to a choice between investing in future manned spaceflight or conducting high risk sample return missions in a possibly futile attempt to find life on Mars then to me it is no contest.


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PostPosted: March 15, 2012 10:37 PM 

I don't agree that Europa is an economic "basket case." Greece might be, but the core nations of Europe like Germany, France, and the U.K., as well as Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland, are doing quite well. With Russia's help, ESA has enough financial resources to do the ExoMars missions. My worry is that they may lack the discipline and processes (reviews, reviews, reviews, tests, tests, tests) painfully developed by the U.S. that may be needed to pull it off successfully.

I think a sample return mission should be delayed until we have done more in situ life detection experiments following up on the Viking ones. It is difficult to justify the increasing expense of Mars missions if they continue to be oriented towards geology.


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PostPosted: March 15, 2012 10:55 PM 

[link] ?pid=40297

Ticks can survive near-vacuum for extended periods.


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PostPosted: March 16, 2012 6:21 AM 

Another one comes to the following conclusion though to different reasons than others who claimed such before:
Did Life on Earth Come From Mars?


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PostPosted: March 16, 2012 7:32 AM 

Barsoomer. Yep Europe is in great shape.


Kevin Author Profile Page

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Reply: 373

PostPosted: March 16, 2012 8:33 AM 

ESA has had the budget before the banking crises and there is no talk of taking that away. Russia has said they want to join in on this mission as there are various experiments that need further funding and provide the launch vehicle. The mission in whatever form will go ahead.

Perhaps the biggest loss is the Trace Gas Orbiter as this was going to sniff out the source of the methane and ExoMars would have landed near to that spot.

As Barsoomer rightly point out the Russians have not had a successful time of late and the failiure of Phobos Grunt was down to some pretty lackadaisical work.


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PostPosted: March 16, 2012 11:28 AM

The U.S. debt is considerably higher as a percentage of GDP than that of the core European countries. By that measure, Europe is in better shape than the U.S.


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PostPosted: March 16, 2012 7:45 PM 

Perception is a great tool of illusion. Outside the Kingdom we "believe" what we project.



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PostPosted: March 17, 2012 12:43 PM 



"The recent discoveries of seasonally flowing water just beneath the surface and methane in the atmosphere raise the question of whether life exists today."


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Reply: 377

PostPosted: March 17, 2012 2:15 PM 

Typical political add for those who support robotic exploration. We need another geological robot like we need a hole in the head. Pleses lord, a rock is a rock, we get it......

Its time we send a weatherman, an image guy and some astrobiologist. Time to man-up chaps. We may get fried but oh well......


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PostPosted: March 18, 2012 7:30 AM 

Fred; Agree with your #377. No more geological robots for the forseeable future. Cut to the chase. Send properly equipped scoopers looking for microbial life.



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PostPosted: March 18, 2012 1:35 PM 

Winston; I don't disagree with this but wouldn't it be wise to conduct enough exploration to determine the best location to find microbial life among the diverse options.


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PostPosted: March 18, 2012 1:50 PM 

Interesting how they always play up the biological aspect when looking for money, but then design geology rovers.

We need to return to Utopia Planitia or Chryse Planitia and repeat the Labeled Release Experiment in combination with other instruments to pin down the source of the positive response. If it is truly due to some "unknown oxidant" we need to identify that oxidant.

Going somewhere else risks the possibility that those two areas are special in a way that may not be repeated in other regions. If we do go to other regions, we should test so see if they also have the same response to the Labeled Release experiment.

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