Monday, December 08, 2008

Simulation Shows Bacteria Could Live on Mars

Now, building on a tradition of ground-based simulation that extends back to 1958, a new series of experiments, conducted by an interdisciplinary research team from the Faculty of Natural Sciences of the University of Aarhus, Denmark, suggests that indeed bacteria could survive beneath the martian soil.

Why I Hope There's No Life on Mars

Why am I such a spoilsport? Because life on Mars would make life on Earth a lot more complicated. First, imagine that there’s no life on Mars. That means we can go there, as we did on lunar missions, with no serious worries about bringing back deadly germs. (We initially quarantined Apollo astronauts upon their return to Earth. But by Apollo 15 NASA had concluded that the moon was as lifeless as, well, the moon.) No concerns about bringing deadly bacteria home, and none about contaminating the moon with earthly bacteria that might mess up its biospheric ecology.

(Both items sighted at The Keyhoe Report.)


Anonymous said...

So in 20 years or so we might get confirmation of things we generally already know (well those of us paying attention). Mars has sparse vegetation, standing surface water and at the very least microbial life. Not to mention a number of highly anomalous, geometric, archeological areas of interest.

Maybe news will come sooner now that it seems "Religion" is on the downswing. Finally it's being put back in its place as something one should be embarrassed about (and having its hands forcefully removed from the reigns of politics).

Here's hoping.

Anonymous said...

I don't think the biological concern is a particularly valid one. It's not like we can't handle it. If we can make the trip we can certainly deal with contamination issues. Of course, that scenario doesn't account for human incompetence. Besides, I am pretty sure there's enough crap in labs right here on our planet that will do us is in if gets out. We don't have to bring it back from our neighbors.


R2K said...

Lets go to mars and figure it out.

Gareth said...

Mac, I think Ive heard you mention this before, but do you view the reluctance of NASA to land a rover in the Cydonia/Face region as absolute proof that they know there is something there?

Ive been thinking about that lately and it seems to me that if they were as objective as they claim and really wanting to:

a) stop all the speculation, and
b) satisfy their own curiosity as scientists (maybe thats an inappropriate assumption on my part),

they would land a rover as close as possible to that damn Face on Mars as they could.

Surely their refusal to do this speaks volumes. What do you think?

Mac said...


Personally, I don't think landing a rover in Cydonia would resolve the controversy. If the alleged structures are as old as they seem to be, they would likely continue to appear plausibly geological.

Which is why we need to go in person -- and dig.

Gareth said...

I see what youre saying, but you dont think ANYTHING could be gained by landing near the Face?

Surely the next best thing to being there ourselves is landing a rover right next to the damn thing. Whether it shows something or not, its as good as any other place on Mars right?

kcotae said...

It's obvious (to me) that humanity developed on Mars and when temps and conditions changed life migrated to Earth. There'll be a reversal soon and we'll return to Mars.I'm as sure of this as I am of dying.

Mac said...


From Mars to Earth to Mars to Earth . . . Rinse and repeat!

Mac said...


Oh, landing a rover in Cydonia would tell us many important things; I just don;t think it would necessarily offer *conclusive* evidence re. potential artificiality.

Here's an interesting fact: one of the two Viking landers was originally intended to land in Cydonia -- but NASA changed its mind because they felt the terrain would be dangerously rocky and might capsize the lander.

From looking at high-rez orbital images, I'm not sure this opinion is borne out by the facts. "Conspiracy"? Some think so.

linus r. said...

here is one of the worst (not to mention strangest) possible outcomes:

maybe we should not even dare think of going to Mars!!