Sunday, May 25, 2008





Success!

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Really amazing, also amazing that there is no instrument on board to detect past or present life forms, or is there?

Michael

Mac said...

No life-detection, no. (And considering what *is* aboard, it would have been fairly easy to include.)

Maybe, if we're lucky, we'll land a probe on Mars up to 1975 state-of-the-art. In the meantime JPL's apparently content to "search for life" indirectly.

Still, better than nothing.

Anonymous said...

I think you are correct, that it would have been fairly easy to include. In fact, I will go farther than that and say it would have been too easy to include to have excluded it. All that time, effort, and money to search indirectly! It just doesn't make sense does it? Makesmewonder!

Michael

Mac said...

Re. the discovery of primitive life in Mars: there are some big political obstacles within the NASA structure. Lots of budgets and careers would find themselves rerouted or erased if we found smoking gun evidence of a biosphere on Mars.

A living Mars goes completely against the grain of the current research paradigm. Who needs an "X-Files"-style cover-up when you've got careers in the line?

It's not impossible that, on some level, NASA is delaying the inevitable as long as it can.

intense said...

$420 million spent on this probe, and 32 years after Viking, they couldn't have included some form of DNA detector or microbial detection equipment?

Sounds like more than just bureaucracy or stupidity. Seems ludicrous. Why would NASA not include such hardware? What's the point of landing in a zone with ice that could be warmed so that organic or microbial biota, either fossilized or dormant, could be detected? Is it beyond our current scientific means to do this remotely or by automation?

intense said...

By the way, check out these two photos from the Phoenix lander--

What are the "small" white objects? How far away? Reflection artifacts or what?

First one: look at horizon, 2/3 from left--vertical object--light reflection? Rather odd...

http://tinyurl.com/6kwr4v

Second one: "isoceles triangular" shape down and to the left--parachute? Light reflection?

http://tinyurl.com/3q6yf5

Anyone know if the camera on the probe has telephoto capability? And if not, why not? That's relatively simple--it'd be nice to get better imagery of these white objects, or whatever they are, some distance from Phoenix.

Mac said...

$420 million spent on this probe, and 32 years after Viking, they couldn't have included some form of DNA detector or microbial detection equipment?

Intense--

You're living in the 70s! ;-)

Mac said...

Intense--

Both objects are interesting -- especially the second. *Something* is out there ... ice, maybe?

kcotae said...

Brilliant achievement for the pre-Martian race...humans! We're going home guys and gals!

rocket man at his honky chateau said...

"We're going home guys and gals!

Not me. I prefer the Earthian environment, personally. After all--

"Mars ain't the kind of place to raise your kids
In fact it's cold as hell
And there's no one there to raise them if you did..."

Not to mention some difficulty in breathing... 8^}

KCOTAE said...

I'd "return" to Mars today...(if it were possible) as Earth certainly isn't the place to raise kids, or anything else for that matter. A doomed planet.

Anonymous said...

"It's not impossible that, on some level, NASA is delaying the inevitable as long as it can."

Fuck NASA. Start businesses offering opportunities for questers who'd like to travel to Mars. How would you like to go there and search for signs of life on your own??? Make space exploration a matter of free-market enterprise: you'll see how much more quickly we'd get things done.

Ken