Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Mars Soil Appears To Be Able To Sustain Life

timothy posted more than 6 years ago | from the expensive-way-to-replenish-topsoil dept.

Mars 337

beckerist writes "Scientists working on the Phoenix Mars Lander mission, which has already found ice on the planet, said preliminary analysis by the lander's instruments on a sample of soil scooped up by the spacecraft's robotic arm had shown it to be much more alkaline than expected. Sam Kounaves, the lead investigator for the wet chemistry laboratory on Phoenix, told journalists: 'It is the type of soil you would probably have in your back yard, you know, alkaline. You might be able to grow asparagus in it really well. ... It is very exciting for us.'"

cancel ×

337 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Growing Asparagus on Mars... (5, Funny)

ForestGrump (644805) | more than 6 years ago | (#23958127)

It would probably lead to a very smelly planet.

Re:Growing Asparagus on Mars... (0)

em0te (807074) | more than 6 years ago | (#23958181)

Blasphemer!!! I, for one, welcome our new asparagus cosuming overlords!

Re:Growing Asparagus on Mars... (2, Funny)

tubapro12 (896596) | more than 6 years ago | (#23958423)

I, for one, welcome our new herbaceous overlords!
Fixed that for you.
Why can't I use to memes at once?

Re:Growing Asparagus on Mars... (2, Funny)

em0te (807074) | more than 6 years ago | (#23958871)

I didn't take into account PC. What if they are in the midst of a civil war?? Asparagus eaters and...say cabbage eaters. what if the asparagus eaters lost?!?! I'd be totally screwed. jeeze...I need to properly think through my random thoughts. I could have had a place of power...but now i'd get tortured for being a brown noser and then killed for being a rebel.....what if they hate cabbage too...oh crap i'm sinking... I need sleep now.

Re:Growing Asparagus on Mars... (5, Funny)

sheepweevil (1036936) | more than 6 years ago | (#23958315)

What a way to motivate new colonists...

Join the exciting new Mars colony! Wide open spaces! All-you-can-eat asparagus!

Re:Growing Asparagus on Mars... (1)

VolciMaster (821873) | more than 6 years ago | (#23959033)

sign me up!

Re:Growing Asparagus on Mars... (4, Funny)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 6 years ago | (#23958339)

But it would be tasty, produce oxigen and it provided an aphrodisiac(*). What more do you want?

(*) I know that's bollocks..

Re:Growing Asparagus on Mars... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23958819)

Only on Slashdot would someone spell "oxygen" wrong and yet correctly spell "aphrodisiac"...

How about the cocoa plant instead? (4, Funny)

davidwr (791652) | more than 6 years ago | (#23958913)

After all, Mars and cocoa go together like IBM and genetic sequencing [slashdot.org] .

Re:Growing Asparagus on Mars... (0, Offtopic)

jaguth (1067484) | more than 6 years ago | (#23958393)

but would probably be very popular among the urination fetish crowd. smellier golden showers!

Growing Asparagus in Chicago (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23958517)

Now that the SCOTUS has affirmed the 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms is an individual right... watch Obama flipflop on his political position WRT gun control [wikipedia.org] faster than you can blink, that is.... until after the election is over, no matter who wins.

Half of you mods should immediately mod me offtopic, because I am. The other half of you mods should immediately mod me insightful, because I am.

Re:Growing Asparagus in Chicago (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23959031)

The tragedy is that there is no way to mod you "Faggot"

Re:Growing Asparagus on Mars... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23958559)

I hate asparagus. It does nothing for me. Especially with regards to what the parent is referring to.

How about potatoes?
No, I'm not Irish. Why do you ask?

Re:Growing Asparagus on Mars... (4, Informative)

crontabminusell (995652) | more than 6 years ago | (#23958891)

How about potatoes?

Because potatoes require an oxygen-rich soil [bookcliffgardens.com] and also prefer a slightly acidic soil [ufl.edu] . =)

They're a little late in the year for asparagus (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23958135)

Let's hope the lander doesn't break down before next year's asparagus season.

send seeds (2, Interesting)

BlackSnake112 (912158) | more than 6 years ago | (#23958169)

Lets see if it works. Send a bunch of seeds that we think will grow there. Of course the lack of water might be a problem. Are there any arctic cactus?

Re:send seeds (4, Funny)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 6 years ago | (#23958235)

Lichen [wikipedia.org] , although don't beat yourself up about being unable to find that information despite having the totality of human knowledge at your fingertips. Your mother probably drank a lot during pregnancy.

Re:send seeds (4, Interesting)

NoobixCube (1133473) | more than 6 years ago | (#23958435)

The problem with having the totality of human knowledge at one's fingertips is the necessary base knowledge. I know nothing about plant life, beyond that I need to mow the lawn every so often. I wouldn't have known to look up lichen as a possible candidate for growing on Mars. I thought lichen was like moss, and needed darkness and damp conditions.

Re:send seeds (3, Insightful)

Thiez (1281866) | more than 6 years ago | (#23958649)

It says that lichen still needs water to grow, it can just manage to survive without it for long periods of time. If there is no liquid water available on mars, the lichen would die eventually.

Re:send seeds (0)

naoursla (99850) | more than 6 years ago | (#23958773)

We need lichen that can feed on water that is in the form of ice.

FTA: (5, Funny)

Farmer Tim (530755) | more than 6 years ago | (#23958183)

You might be able to grow asparagus in it really well. ... It is very exciting for us.

And I thought I didn't get out much.

Re:FTA: (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23958307)

What I now don't understand is why they didn't bring a small payload of seeds? What could possibly be lost? The eco-system can only be changed for the better (I think?!)

Re:FTA: (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23958453)

They went to great lengths to avoid contamination of the Mars environment with life from Earth. One of their objectives is to see if there's life on Mars, remember?

Re:FTA: (4, Interesting)

v1 (525388) | more than 6 years ago | (#23958625)

they go to great lengths NOT to bring life to mars. Read up on "bio-barrier". If the spacecraft get contaminated during construction or prep they have to re-sterilize it. They want to find life, not spread it.

If you accidentally bring life to Mars, that makes it about impossible to discover it and know for sure it's Martian life and not something you brought, or that mutated from something you brought.

Although I agree that if we determine there is NO life on mars, I say our next probe is sent with a well-planned variety of "colonizer" lifeforms to begin teraforming of the planet so it's at least borderline useful by the time we can send people out there.

Re:FTA: (4, Funny)

NewbieProgrammerMan (558327) | more than 6 years ago | (#23958809)

Although I agree that if we determine there is NO life on mars, I say our next probe is sent with a well-planned variety of "colonizer" lifeforms to begin teraforming of the planet so it's at least borderline useful by the time we can send people out there.
Wow, I hope we send people there much sooner than that. I seem to recall that it would take many, many centuries to make Mars borderline useful.

That is, unless somebody's done us the favor of leaving a giant insta-terraforming machine lying around there, in which case we just need to send Ahhnold to staht de reactor.

Re:FTA: (1)

strabes (1075839) | more than 6 years ago | (#23959091)

Sounds sort of like that ridiculous movie "Red Planet" with Carrie-Anne Moss. "I can breathe!!"

Re:FTA: (5, Insightful)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 6 years ago | (#23958667)

Well, while the soil may very well be conducive to growing asparagus, the temperatures most certainly are not. Asparagus is fairly hardy (depending on the cultivar), relatively speaking; but surviving -70C (or even -70F) is too much to ask of the plant.

I must say this is the first time my knowledge of vegetable gardening has ever come in handy on Slashdot!

Re:FTA: (1)

HJED (1304957) | more than 6 years ago | (#23959021)

have you never heard of heat lamps. there far easier to take to mars then lots and lots and lots and...................
of soil. Or we could always build loads of factories there and start global warming.

Re:FTA: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23959047)

Are you saying that we cannot welcome our Martian asparagus overlords?!

Re:FTA: (2, Interesting)

Kjella (173770) | more than 6 years ago | (#23959119)

True, but if it exists elsewhere... water, soil, greenhouse with insulating cover for nighttime = food and oxygen. Terraforming Mars may be way, way off but if we could actually establish farms it'd be a huge asset for any expedition or colony there. A lot of the supplies to the ISS is food, the moon is a barren rock, but if Mars can sustain itself with the basics having a permanent colony doesn't look that unlikely anymore.

Re:FTA: (1)

myspace-cn (1094627) | more than 6 years ago | (#23958741)

You stole my thunder.

Re:FTA: (4, Funny)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#23958975)

Well, that's easy, Monsanto has a patent on growing produce in off-world ecologies. Clearly NASA does not have the budget to pay Monsanto royalties

Re:FTA: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23958341)

I bet they don't read Slashdot though.

Re:FTA: (4, Funny)

Farmer Tim (530755) | more than 6 years ago | (#23958951)

I bet they don't read Slashdot though.

Of course not. Slashdot is more interesting than asparagus, though sometimes not as intelligent.

Re:FTA: (5, Funny)

__NR_kill (1018116) | more than 6 years ago | (#23958411)

growing weed should be more interesting, over there it's nobody's jurisdiction :)

not that interesting (4, Funny)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 6 years ago | (#23958969)

Can you imagine? You get the munchies, and all there is to eat is asparagus? Ugh.

This Confirms My Hypothesis! (0)

Eli Gottlieb (917758) | more than 6 years ago | (#23958187)

What we call "Mars" was originally known as "Arrakis". Let's go find us some fossilized sandworms!

Arrakis == Saudi Arabia (1, Insightful)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 6 years ago | (#23958583)

The spice == oil etc.

HTH
 

I knew it (0, Redundant)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 6 years ago | (#23958191)

Seeing as I always thought asparagus was from Mars, I am not all that surprised.

1 cubic meter? (4, Insightful)

bob_herrick (784633) | more than 6 years ago | (#23958199)

TFA refers to a 1 cubic meter sample (35 cubic feet). That is one sweet lander...

Re:1 cubic meter? (1)

MadCow42 (243108) | more than 6 years ago | (#23958259)

Objects in picture are larger than they appear.

Seems like a HHGTTG scale issue. :) Be careful which words you choose.

MadCow.

Re:1 cubic meter? (2, Insightful)

amitofu (705703) | more than 6 years ago | (#23958643)

In a related martian breakthrough [spaceflightnow.com] , apparently an asteroid hit Mars with an energy of "1029 joules, which is equivalent to 100 billion gigatons of TNT."

I assume they meant 10^29 J. But still, the inability of most scientific journalist's to even check the plausibility of their figures is astounding.

Re:1 cubic meter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23958415)

A factor 10^5 here, a factor 10^5 there... what could possibly go wrong?

Re:1 cubic meter? (1)

lopgok (871111) | more than 6 years ago | (#23958593)

Perhaps a factor of 10^6, like the difference between 1 cubic meter and 1 cubic centimeter. Do the math.

Re:1 cubic meter? (3, Informative)

Vectronic (1221470) | more than 6 years ago | (#23958601)

I found that to be rather large as well, but according to Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] :

The lander has a mass of 350 kg, and measures 2.2 m tall by 5.5 m long with its solar panels deployed. The science deck is about 1.5 m in diameter. ...

The Robotic Arm (RA) is designed to extend 2.35 m from its base on the lander, and have the ability to dig down to 0.5 m below the surface.

And from the Wiki picture [wikipedia.org] and the article picture [reuters.com] the bucket looks like it may be about 6 inches wide...

However, I still doubt that they actually scooped up 1^3 meter of soil, but rather parts of an area that is 1^3 meter...

Re:1 cubic meter? (1)

jdray (645332) | more than 6 years ago | (#23959055)

I noticed that, too. And they got it from one inch below the surface. Not impossible, but quite a feat for a remotely controlled robot with a teeny-tiny scoop and a relatively short arm.

I hope NASA built into their Glast Probe (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 6 years ago | (#23958231)

some spray nozzles to fire out Easy Off for their Easy Bake Oven in case some silica monster tries to hitch a ride back to Earth. Or, maybe instead they have some RoundUp dispensers. Now, if they have that and some DDT or quinine or something else to terminate any hitchers... like asparagus monsters

hehehe....

Re:I hope NASA built into their Glast Probe (1)

Linuss (1305295) | more than 6 years ago | (#23958385)

sorry to burst your little bubble here, but if any asparagus monsters decided to hitch a ride on the mars lander, they'd reach human life when man lands on mars.

Asparagus (3, Funny)

Wandering Wombat (531833) | more than 6 years ago | (#23958237)

So nothing originally from Earth, then...

AP News Article (3, Informative)

kingmundi (54911) | more than 6 years ago | (#23958245)


http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5j1hvRUNc9W-3lupLU6TLQtR0gdRAD91I04D01 [google.com]

Some quotes...

Preliminary results showed the soil had a pH between 8 and 9, researchers said. A pH less than 7 means the solution is acidic, while a pH over 7 means it is salty. Phoenix also detected the presence of magnesium, sodium, potassium and chloride in the mixture.

"It's typical of the soil here on Earth minus the organics," Kounaves said during a teleconference from Tucson, Ariz. ...

The heating experiment, which was designed to look for organics, did not yield conclusive evidence of carbon. Scientists planned to study another soil sample taken from further below the surface.

Re:AP News Article (4, Informative)

Falkkin (97268) | more than 6 years ago | (#23958547)

Wait... pH over 7 means a solution is "salty"? Salts are electrically neutral; surely they meant "alkaline" or "basic".

Re:AP News Article (4, Informative)

nanoakron (234907) | more than 6 years ago | (#23958571)

umm...pH over 7 means alkaline, not salty.

Re:AP News Article (4, Informative)

jonfr (888673) | more than 6 years ago | (#23959105)

Ocean is usually ph 8.5 or higher. However, in some areas on the planet earth the soil has high ph value (not acid). Plants do well in that type of soil, as do most living things.

Re:AP News Article (1, Insightful)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 6 years ago | (#23959115)

What do you think makes the soil alkaline?

Re:AP News Article (4, Interesting)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 6 years ago | (#23958577)

"It's typical of the soil here on Earth minus the organics," Kounaves said during a teleconference from Tucson, Ariz. ...

i.e. We're still missing the magic ingredient: Nitrogen. Getting a sufficient quantity of nitrates to Mars might end up being the biggest problem with colonization efforts in the future. We obviously have water. CO2 can be reprocessed into O2.

The soil is not toxic. Now all we need is Nitrogen and a good method of bootstraping industrial production on Mars. (Shipping heavier technology would be impractical.)

No spluh! (1)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 6 years ago | (#23958289)

How else is the Wong family supposed to live there.

What did the Buggalo graze on anyway? (1)

attemptedgoalie (634133) | more than 6 years ago | (#23958657)


Just be careful that they don't brand you when you get there.

Re:What did the Buggalo graze on anyway? (1)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 6 years ago | (#23958755)

Just be careful that they don't brand you when you get there.
Just stay away from the sign that reads 'You came to the Wong place'

only... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23958319)

Do asparagus need only an alkaline soil to grow up?

To quote Sealab 2021... (1)

TheDarkener (198348) | more than 6 years ago | (#23958349)

"With six Dr. Quinns, we can teraform Mars - and do it RIGHT this time! ...Yeeeah!"

--Dr. Quinn, "Lost in Time" episode

P.S. "Take that, subspace!" --Stormy

So... (1)

DigitalisAkujin (846133) | more than 6 years ago | (#23958355)

Ok so how many asteroids do we need to crash into Mars to give it some greenhouse gases and an atmosphere similar to Earth's?

Re:So... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23958421)

42

Re:So... (2, Informative)

jwkfs (1260442) | more than 6 years ago | (#23958685)

To generate a new atmosphere you would need volcanic activity (which Mars apparently has not had in a while) to start the greenhouse effect. Mars is too cold and geologically dead to develop a new Earth-like atmosphere. A collision probably wouldn't help.

In fact, it's possible that a collision was responsible for destroying a previous Earth-like atmosphere on Mars.

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23958873)

I saw a History Ch. program in which it was envisioned that we would set up factories to essentially gassify elements already there to create a greenhouse effect, and the scientists interviewed seemed to think doing so was quite realistic.

My question concerns what I thought was a prevailing theory; that Mars may have once had an atmosphere, but because its core had cooled (being so much smaller than Earth, it cooled faster) and solidified, there was no magnetic shield protecting the atmosphere from solar winds, which proceeded to blow the atmosphere into space. So my question: if that is indeed the case, what's to keep any atmosphere we create there from meeting the same fate?

Re:So... (3, Insightful)

camperdave (969942) | more than 6 years ago | (#23959079)

Ok so how many asteroids do we need to crash into Mars to give it some greenhouse gases and an atmosphere similar to Earth's?

You'll want to be crashing comets into Mars, not asteriods. After all, what is crashing a rock into Mars going to do, apart from adding a new crater? Crashing a couple of megatons of CO2, H2O, and other gasses into Mars, well that's a different story. Not only do you get your brand new crater, but you add a couple of megatons of C02, H2O, and other gasses to the atmosphere.

Exciting! (1)

Shade of Pyrrhus (992978) | more than 6 years ago | (#23958379)

Asparagus is exciting for me, too!

That's some interesting stuff, especially the fact that there's nothing they found in the soil that was toxic. Now if only there was more funding towards going anywhere with this information.

Martian Red (5, Funny)

JustOK (667959) | more than 6 years ago | (#23958383)

Martian pot is what I'm waiting for. I'm sure it would be outta this world.

Re:Martian Red (1, Informative)

kellyb9 (954229) | more than 6 years ago | (#23958581)

Who modded this informative? Whoever it is must've been smokin' some of that martian pot!

Re:Martian Red (5, Funny)

Shadowlore (10860) | more than 6 years ago | (#23958793)

Given the gravity differences, an ounce of of pot on Mars would get you *much* higher.

Only a 'might'? (1, Funny)

Albanach (527650) | more than 6 years ago | (#23958397)

They've already found the water. Why didn't they send up some seeds?

Re:Only a 'might'? (4, Informative)

EGSonikku (519478) | more than 6 years ago | (#23958815)

Well, the *soil* might be capable of supporting Asparagus, but the seeds might not like the temperature, atmosphere, or ambient radiation.

NEWS FLASH! (5, Funny)

ROMRIX (912502) | more than 6 years ago | (#23958413)

You might be able to grow asparagus in it really well. ...

I can see the headlines now in all the papers, when this quote goes mainstream;

TOP SCIENTIST CLAIM MARS SOIL SUPPORTS ASPARAGUS LIKE LIFE FORMS!

Re:NEWS FLASH! (1)

owlnation (858981) | more than 6 years ago | (#23958743)

Top Scientist Claims Mars Soil Supports Asparagus Like Life Forms!
and this finally explains why the little green men are green.

Asparagus on Mars (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23958429)

Just more evidence that Big Asparagus has co-opted our national science agenda.

Who cares about life - what about oil? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23958447)

I don't care if there are green martians with antennas living underground... I WANT OIL. At $135/barrel, I think it's still profitable enough to extract oil from Mars and ship it here. Is there oil, Phoenix Lander? IS THERE???

Re:Who cares about life - what about oil? (1)

jemtallon (1125407) | more than 6 years ago | (#23958675)

See, we need organics there first so they can form into oil. Still might be profitable to teraform the planet to produce oil. And hey, while we're at it we can outsource the industrial plants there and just send back the finished goods! Now that's a global warming and pollution solution!

Re:Who cares about life - what about oil? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23959113)

Mars' atmosphere is already 97% CO2, so we don't have to worry about global warming!!! This is sounding more and more like a plan!!!

Where are the little green men (1)

Peter_The_Linux_Nerd (1292510) | more than 6 years ago | (#23958493)

Where are the little green men in jacuzzis sipping cocktails saying "ah, I've been waiting for you", that's what we all really want. We all know it.

Life? (2, Insightful)

Godji (957148) | more than 6 years ago | (#23958495)

Assuming that at some point some tiny little bacteria-like thingy is actually found on Mars, what guarantee do we have that it originated there, as opposed to coming from Earth as contamination during any of our Mars missions?

And why am I unable to write in short sentences?

Re:Life? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23958591)

as opposed to coming from Earth as contamination during any of our Mars missions?
Great pains are taken to make sure any and all things landing on Mars from Earth are completely serile. The concern you mention was a pretty big one - when scientists first figured out how to solve it decades ago.

Re:Life? (1)

wilder_card (774631) | more than 6 years ago | (#23958757)

Personally I believe that life that evolved elsewhere will be have some significant chemical differences. Every lifeform on Earth uses the same bases for DNA and RNA, has certain processes in common, etc. Find something that uses different DNA with a different base pair, and you've got your alien.

Re:Life? (1)

Shadowlore (10860) | more than 6 years ago | (#23958869)

Because we stamped each microorganism with "Made on Earth"?

What guarantee do we have that life on Earth isn't the result of contamination from meteorite impacts?

Why? Because.

Re:Life? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23959039)

I don't know, how about totally alien biochemistry?

Any other veggies?? (1)

kellyb9 (954229) | more than 6 years ago | (#23958513)

Asparagas is great and all... no really. But any possibility of any other veggies that can grow up there??? What makes asparagas different from other vegetables?

Re:Any other veggies?? (1)

Thiez (1281866) | more than 6 years ago | (#23958753)

Different plants like different soil. It is likely that many different sorts of veggies could be convinced to grow in that soil, but asparagas would probably like it best (I assume that's the reason they picked it, I didn't RTFA).

The Soil, Maybe, But What About the Environment? (5, Interesting)

Azuma Hazuki (955769) | more than 6 years ago | (#23958607)

Has everyone forgotten Mars has no ozone layer? The soil may contain the necessary minerals and other nutrients, but it's baked under UV rays and (last I heard) full of peroxides and other unfriendly chemicals as a result. Starting with plants is putting the cart before the horse; we should be thinking about extremophiles if we're serious about this. And would it be ethical?

Re:The Soil, Maybe, But What About the Environment (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23959023)

How would it not be ethical???? There is nothing wrong with bringing life to other wise died planets. What is so important on mars that we need to protect it from life??? Rocks, Dirt??? I'm all for protecting the enivorment on earth but because we need the enivorment to survive. But if someone askded me should we move a rock to build a highway, I would say yes wouldn't you?

We need to realize that humans are part of the enivorment and have a right to change it.

Re:The Soil, Maybe, But What About the Environment (2)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 6 years ago | (#23959075)

And would it be ethical?

That's it, I'm joining People for the Ethical Treatment of Asparagus! How dare they send cute little innocent asparagii off to Mars! Don't you know plants have feelings too?

Re:The Soil, Maybe, But What About the Environment (4, Funny)

SeekerDarksteel (896422) | more than 6 years ago | (#23959077)

The ethical concerns have already been addressed. If the martians don't like our plans, they can file a formal complaint. The plans will be properly displayed for a sufficient duration in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet, stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying 'Beware of the Leopard'.

Terraforming? (1)

mugnyte (203225) | more than 6 years ago | (#23958623)


  So what happens if we start firing off missions to try and seed life? Without much of an atmosphere, would we need a dome of some sort? How would temperature extremes be moderated?

One Cubic Meter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23958639)

"The 1 cubic meter (35 cubic feet) of soil was taken from about 1 inch below the surface of Mars"

That's a lot of soil... Methinks someone needs to learn their units.

Life on Mars (5, Funny)

joshtheitguy (1205998) | more than 6 years ago | (#23958693)

Fry: Back in the 20th century we had no idea there was a university on Mars.

Farnsworth: Well, in those days, Mars was just a dreary uninhabitable wasteland. Much like Utah. But unlike Utah, it was eventually made livable.

Martians (1, Redundant)

aaronfaby (741318) | more than 6 years ago | (#23958725)

So I guess this means god may have created life on Mars as well!

Plant some seeds! (1)

Aaron32 (891463) | more than 6 years ago | (#23958733)

They should have put some seeds in the rover and let it deposit them in the soil. By the time we burn up on this planet maybe Mars will be ready for us to invade?

Maybe get 1 of each seed from the Arctic Doomsday Seed Vault?

Woopee (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23958789)

The same can be said of my backhair.

Life on the landers? (0, Redundant)

dstates (629350) | more than 6 years ago | (#23958993)

Wonder how thoroughly they disinfected the Mars landers before launch. The Earth has a rich soil and subterranean ecosystem so even if Mars has no ozone layer, there are plenty of hospitable places where a microbe could live. And of course, there would not be any natural predators to keep an invasive species in check. Just think, NASA may just have conducted their boldest experiment ever.

What every Mars Lander story needs... (-1, Flamebait)

Simonetta (207550) | more than 6 years ago | (#23959017)

What every Mars Lander story needs is a justification for this...uh..lunacy.

    470 million dollars is a lot of money. And for only one project. There are a lot more projects in the pipeline.

    I simply can't understand this weird obsession with Mars. Sure it exists, but...so what?
It's a bright dot in night sky. That's all it is. It's never going to be anything else. No one is ever going to go there and return alive. The United States will be gone before that happens (the USA is already bankrupt and living on other people's money, whether you accept this reality or not). There's nothing there that justifies the incredible expense when there are so many other pressing needs for humanity. And if you don't care about humanity (which most Slashdaughters don't, admit it), there are thousands of other projects that would bring more benefit to the American people than Mars projects.

    The people who are doing these Mars projects are scientifically and technologically advanced but are moral cripples. They know that they are contributing nothing with all this expenditure, and as long as the public funds are spent on them, they don't care. There's no difference between them and the 'welfare Cadillac' hustlers. The best defence that they can offer for this absurd project is that if they didn't spend the funds, then the funds would be going to some insane war on the other side of the world.

    Now I grew up in the USA in the Mercury/Gemini/Apollo era. We watched space launches in the school auditorium on TV before John Kennedy was shot (before the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, before BigMacs and Cap't Crunch and SweetTarts). I know what it is like to get excited about space. But I used to get excited about the Easter Bunny, too.

    The key expression here is "grew up". The space freaks need to do that. Space exploration is really nothing more than a fantasy for children. When you get a few hundred miles from the surface of the earth, there is nothing that justifies the expense of putting humans there. And there is nothing to justify putting robots on Mars.

So they have water or ice, so what? Our world is 3/4 water. So there is dusty akaline 'soil' there? So what? It's not soil. It's sterile pulverized rock. So what? You get excited about this? My friend, you should try taking some LSD, or having sex with a beautiful woman, or skydiving, or skiing down a 3000 meter mountain or anything else that adults do for excitment.

    Seriously, guys, your Mars obsession is embarrassing to the people who care about you. You should get beyond it.

Someone please create asparagus version of this... (1)

Wonderkid (541329) | more than 6 years ago | (#23959053)

... MarsHydro.com [marshydro.com] (Semi tongue in cheek teaser site created in 2000 when NASA first discovered evidence of PRIOR water on Mars in the form of those gullies.)

Future suspicions... (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 6 years ago | (#23959093)

You might be able to grow asparagus in it really well. ... It is very exciting for us.

Now I'm going to be really suspicious should the next lander actually find Asparagus ...

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?