So the instruments on board the rover may have found signs of organic molecules. Still not clear what it is and they aren't saying anything yet. In my opinion if they find amino acids or dna bases it has to point to life. Those molecules don't occur outside of biological systems.
What would be even cooler is if the amino acids have the same stereochemistry (the way the atoms are positioned) as the amino acids on earth. That would imply that life in our solar system has a common origin. Could it be life evolved on Mars first and was transported to earth via meteorites in the early history of the solar system?
earth shaking news if that's what it turns out to be.
11-29-2012 07:01 PM
The meterorites carrying molecules to Earth and creating life is a theory some do believe and carries merit. I'm not expert and I've barely scratched the surface on anything relating to this, but I believe "life", or variations of it can survive and a multitude of locations.
For example, creatures live very deep in the water. Places we think would be uninhabitable for virtually anyone/anything by way of chemosynthesis.
A form of life on Mars isn't unexpected imo, but rather... "intelligent" would be.
NASA's Mars Curiosity rover has used its full array of instruments to analyze Martian soil for the first time, and found a complex chemistry within the Martian soil. Water and sulfur and chlorine-containing substances, among other ingredients, showed up in samples Curiosity's arm delivered to an analytical laboratory inside the rover.
Detection of the substances during this early phase of the mission demonstrates the laboratory's capability to analyze diverse soil and rock samples over the next two years. Scientists also have been verifying the capabilities of the rover's instruments.
Curiosity is the first Mars rover able to scoop soil into analytical instruments. The specific soil sample came from a drift of windblown dust and sand called "Rocknest." The site lies in a relatively flat part of Gale Crater still miles away from the rover's main destination on the slope of a mountain called Mount Sharp. The rover's laboratory includes the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) suite and the Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) instrument. SAM used three methods to analyze gases given off from the dusty sand when it was heated in a tiny oven. One class of substances SAM checks for is organic compounds -- carbon-containing chemicals that can be ingredients for life.
12-04-2012 09:47 PM
Ok NASA needs to stop being such a tease. If you say you have earth shaking news, it better be earthshaking. Finding Chlorinated organic compounds is great but it is not life specific.
No Fun Shogun
12-04-2012 11:44 PM
Neat and all, but underwhelming after the initial hope that they had discovered something more.... substantial.
NASA won't change. Enthusiasts have to learn how to filter the marketing drama, much like we learn to do with ads and tv commercials. Part of these dramatic announcement techniques are meant pique our interest amid tons of other daily PR memos waiting to be picked up (hopefully) by various news feeds and media outlets. Scientists have learned to capture attention with terms like the 'God Particle'; bylines like '7 minutes of terror' work better than atmospheric entry. Public research institutions also need public funding and public acceptance. Looking for ET life is exciting and dramatic, basic scientific analysis a bit more mundane. Get used to the marketing hyperbole, it isn't going to stop anytime soon, in advertising or space.
01-07-2013 10:58 AM
Interesting look at "driving" Mars rover Curiosity
02-08-2013 10:30 PM
Mars rover finds possible metallic object sticking out from the ground
There's another weird thing on Mars, and Nasa really doesn't know what it is this time.
You may remember the $2.5 billion Curiosity rover currently drilling rocks on the Red Planet already found strange shiny things and what was labelled a 'Martian Flower'.
But if anything, this is even weirder.
An image posted by Nasa on 30 January and taken with the right Mastcam on Curiosity shows what appears to be a 0.5cm metal spoke protruding out of a rock.
The strange sight - which looks a bit like a robotic arm - was noticed by imaging editor Elisabetta Bonora from Italy.
A while back I took a road trip to Rochester NY starting at 11pm. On the way I was lucky enough to catch "Coast to Coast AM" and the entire show was dedicated to rather far fetched theories based on speculations of shapes coming from Mars Rover photos. The conspiracy bandwagon's loosely guided fantasies alone make the trip to Mars worth it.
02-09-2013 01:00 AM
About an hour in the fun starts.
02-09-2013 04:18 AM
Obviously Mass Effect
"humankind discovered a cache of technology on Mars, supposedly built by a technologically advanced but long-extinct race called the Protheans."
02-09-2013 11:31 AM
The conspiracy theorists didn't learn from the man-face yet?