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186 comments

More Proof... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26951017)

More proof that the Martian race came to Earth thousands of years ago, interbred with humanity to create the white race, and has ever since been trying to take over the world. They will be done by 2012 when the Annunaki return.

Oh, and FP!

Re:More Proof... (4, Insightful)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 5 years ago | (#26951541)

Saying that "martians created humans" only takes the "why do we exist?" question and changes it to "why do martians exist?".

You didn't really answer anything, the whole "why does life exists" question still remains.

Re:More Proof... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26951715)

Replace "martians" with "God" and try again.

Re:More Proof... [Robot Chicken] (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 5 years ago | (#26952429)

More proof that the Martian race came to Earth thousands of years ago, interbred with humanity to create the white race, and has ever since been trying to take over the world. They will be done by 2012 when the Annunaki return.

Alien 1: "Dammit Dammit Dammit!"
Alien 2: "How were we going to take over the world with a white Michael Jackson anyway?"
Alien 1: "Dammit!

No, it proves there is water vapor (3, Informative)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 5 years ago | (#26951045)

That condensed on the metal parts of the rover. Assuming of course that those globs are water and not Martian spit or something else.

Re:No, it proves there is water vapor (2, Funny)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 5 years ago | (#26951071)

Assuming of course that those globs are water and not Martian spit or something else.

Maybe a Martian dog walked by, took a whiff of the lander, and promptly took a piss on it?

Now that would be a headline for the press, "Traces of dogs found on Mars."

Caught in the act! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26951125)

It's the Terminator reforming so he can wipe the solar arrays clean.

Why is this news so important? (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26951243)

"Therefore there must have been life on mars, therefore we must have descended from alien bacteria, therefore the Bible must be wrong, therefore there must be no God, therefore religious people shouldn't lecture me about sleeping around."

Strange globs found on Mars? - OH C'MON! No wonder such news turns on so many people.

Re:No, it proves there is water vapor (1)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 5 years ago | (#26952801)

That condensed on the metal parts of the rover. Assuming of course that those globs are water and not Martian spit or something else.

As frigid as Mars is, it would have sublimated onto the rover, not condensed.

Re:No, it proves there is water vapor (2, Interesting)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 5 years ago | (#26952813)

As frigid as Mars is, it would have sublimated onto the rover, not condensed.

God, I'm an idiot... it would have accumulated by DEPOSITION, not sublimation.

Still, the point is still there. It would have changed from vapor to solid without a liquid phase. The perchlorates that would keep it liquid wouldn't be in the vapor, and thus it would depose, not condense.

Next mission... (1)

Goffee71 (628501) | more than 5 years ago | (#26951063)

to Mars, sponsored by Perrier or Evian. Now that'll be an expensive drink when its shipped back!

Re:Next mission... (5, Funny)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | more than 5 years ago | (#26951681)

Because of discoveries on Mars a few years ago, I registered the domain name martiansprings.com.

I get these late night brilliant ideas that go nowhere. I was picturing bottled water sold as a souvenir gimmick in science museum gift shops.

Some say I'm bipolar.

Re:Next mission... (4, Funny)

glittalogik (837604) | more than 5 years ago | (#26951981)

Some say I'm bipolar...

...and that there's a portrait of your left foot in the Louvre basement.

The only thing we know is: you're called The Stig.

Wrong domain (4, Funny)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 5 years ago | (#26952197)

You registered the wrong domain. You should have registered martianhomeopathy.com. I just checked and it is still available, as well as the .net, .org, and .mobi variants. You see, shipping millions of gallons of water down from Mars would be prohibitively expensive. On the other hand, if you market it as 'Homeopathy', you can actually advertise that you have diluted billions of gallons of earth water with just one itty bitty tiny drop of actual Martian water. This will be seen by many of the homeopathy crowd as giving it more powerful juju than if you had shipped 100% pure Martian water.

While I'm not saying that getting that first drop of Martian water would be cheap or easy, but it certainly would be cheaper and easier than setting up a full scale harvesting and shipping system for pure water.

Re:Next mission... (1)

clambake (37702) | more than 5 years ago | (#26952365)

If other people say you are bipolar, you should get yourself checked out. Not knowing, or not being able to believe that you are bipolar is sort of a classic symptom of the disease... Trust me.

Duh... (5, Interesting)

db32 (862117) | more than 5 years ago | (#26951091)

I thought we already had the signals with the sublimation we caught on camera. Then some more potential evidence with the snow. I think we should be reaching the point where we can start talking about this stuff as possible evidence rather than saying "signal" like we are surprised.

Re:Duh... (1)

david.given (6740) | more than 5 years ago | (#26952307)

I thought we already had the signals with the sublimation we caught on camera. Then some more potential evidence with the snow. I think we should be reaching the point where we can start talking about this stuff as possible evidence rather than saying "signal" like we are surprised.

Well, there's a big difference between solid water and liquid water. Solid water exists at a vast range of temperatures and pressures, and sublimation can occur at a vast range of temperatures and pressures; liquid water, even liquid water loaded down with salts as in this hypothetical Martian mud, can only exist at a much, much smaller ranger of temperatures and pressures. So sighting stuff that looks like it's a liquid is significantly more interesting than seeing chunks of ice.

For example: consider that all our various Mars probes have landed at really dull, really inhospitable bits of Mars, because those are the only bits it's safe to land on. If we can see liquid water here, then there'll almost certainly be more of it elsewhere in more benign bits of the planet --- deep gorges near the equator, for example. And given that planets are very very big, there'll probably be an awful lot more of it, which makes it a possible candidate for a habitat for Martian life.

Re:Duh... (1)

db32 (862117) | more than 5 years ago | (#26953185)

Oh I certainly understand that, and liquid water on Mars would indeed be an interesting discovery. But the title is all about water on Mars like that wasn't already a pretty strong possibility. Also, ultimately this is thought to be water vapor interacting yada yada yada. So water vapor is still impressive, but it isn't exactly lakes and rivers on Mars or even puddles really.

I will also point out that the possible candidate for a habitat for Earth based life is probably on more minds than Martian life. Maybe I am just a cynic but I suspect that detecting Martian life will result in at the very least "back up" plans for how to eradicate it to avoid exposure.

Maybe it peed itself (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#26951129)

Does the vehicle itself contain any liquids which could behave in this fashion?

Re:Maybe it peed itself (1)

imboboage0 (876812) | more than 5 years ago | (#26951921)

My car does the same thing, but with oil. I was thinking that maybe because this water is 'created' from nothing and my car's situation is close, maybe I'm driving a perpetual oil machine?

This could be profitable...

Do I have this right? (5, Funny)

chopper749 (574759) | more than 5 years ago | (#26951153)

We sent a robot to look for water on Mars. It lands in an icy puddle, and gets covered in mud and tiny droplets (that behave just like water). But we can't tell if it's water or not. Your tax dollars at work!

Science has a high burden of proof. (5, Insightful)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 5 years ago | (#26951195)

Oh the precious tax dollars!
You do realize that scientists have a higher burden of proof, right? They aren't going to say it's water until they analyze it and can confirm with certainty what it is.
Damn right it's my tax dollars at work, and millions of us approve of it.

Re:Science has a high burden of proof. (3, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#26951235)

Damn right it's my tax dollars at work, and millions of us approve of it.

Well ... those of us who understand the logic behind science and the scientific method most certainly do. I'm just not sure how many of us fit that description, anymore.

Re:Science has a high burden of proof. (3, Insightful)

MMC Monster (602931) | more than 5 years ago | (#26951237)

The problem is, those of us that approve are rather silent.

Just at work, a highly educated person was complaining how a "third world" country was "wasting" money on space exploration rather than feeding and sheltering the poor.

Re:Science has a high burden of proof. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26951349)

Finish your train of thought so you can actually make a point.

So... you disagree with him? People should starve?

Re:Science has a high burden of proof. (3, Insightful)

Just because I'm an (847583) | more than 5 years ago | (#26951687)

Depends on how you frame your purpose. It's a bit like giving a man trout as opposed to teaching him to fish. Also why can't they feed the poor *and* do space exploration.

Personally I think space exploration is very important. Eventually we're going to have to get off this rock to survive. Whether by resource depletion, disease, catastrophic event (something big crashes into Earth, supervolcanoes go apeshit or sun going supernova) something's going to make our time here limited and the sooner we find viable ways of travelling, finding other hospitable planets (or moons) sustaining ourselves and all the other things we haven't figured out yet the better. Yes some of what we do could probably be done better, or more efficiently, but we've got to keep trying. I'm also not a fan of just letting the USA and Russia play this game. I think India the ESA and China all have a valid reason to play the game too. I'm not sure which 3rd world country was being referred to but all the involved nations so far have poor hungry people they could be helping out.

Just because they have a space program doesn't mean they can't do that too.

Re:Science has a high burden of proof. (3, Insightful)

Narishma (822073) | more than 5 years ago | (#26952077)

Yes, there will always be starving people, so if you wait until everyone isn't starving before doing anything, you'll end up doing nothing.

Re:Science has a high burden of proof. (1)

MMC Monster (602931) | more than 5 years ago | (#26953415)

Yes. Some people will starve. Some people will be unemployed. In every country. In every century.

It would be nice to minimize this, but what is the proper way to do so?

In one asian country, the president or prime minister (can't remember which) decided to place a TV satelite into orbit instead of using the money to feed the people. The side effect was that the people in rural villages were able to get educational TV shows for the first time ever.

Or to put it more simply, "Shoot for the Moon. If you miss, you'll land upon the stars."

Re:Science has a high burden of proof. (1)

chopper749 (574759) | more than 5 years ago | (#26951299)

I'm just saying it's funny that they had no way to detect water ON THE LANDER. It looks like the thing is dripping wet. Maybe they didn't expect to actually land IN water, but couldn't they have come up with a way to detect if the lander was dripping with some sort of liquid! Seems like there should have been some sort of simple test to see if it was liquid. They could have vibrated the thing to see if the drops wiggle.

Re:Science has a high burden of proof. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26951337)

If you're so clever, why don't you work for NASA? It really pisses me off when people spout-off about "why didn't they think of ..." because everything is clear with the benefit of hindsight.

Please realise that actually _doing_ the job is a lot harder than bitching about it on Slashdot (which is why the font kerning on Ubuntu still sucks).

Re:Science has a high burden of proof. (1)

chopper749 (574759) | more than 5 years ago | (#26951413)

I was offer a position with the Astronaut core in 1999. The pay was laughable, and the odds of getting a ride were 1:40 at the time, which dropped of majorly after Colombia. I'm very happy that I didn't go work for NASA. So now I have a job designing fire fighting equipment, designing sensor systems to deactivating airbags when children are in the front seat, and new medical products that are going to change the way back surgery is performed and reducing the operation time from hours to less then 30 minutes and will allow the patient to walk out of the hospital. Or I could go look for water on mars. But I have NOTHING to do the font kerning on Ubuntu.

Re:Science has a high burden of proof. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26951505)

I suspect that you wouldn't have done very well in the astronaut corps, regardless of how far the odds dropped off after the loss of the Columbia.

A solid understanding of the English language, including knowledge of spelling and grammar, is required to be an astronaut.

Re:Science has a high burden of proof. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26951809)

I don't see why it should be.

Yo Hooston (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26953409)

We gots a sit up in heah.

Re:Science has a high burden of proof. (2, Insightful)

citizenr (871508) | more than 5 years ago | (#26951717)

You do realize that scientists have a higher burden of proof, right? They aren't going to say it's water until they analyze it and can confirm with certainty what it is.

You missed the point completelly. Why exactly did they send that probe there in the first place? to use it as a remote camera, or maybe to analyze some shit? Probe lands in the puddle, gets covered in droplets, thers some frost like growth .. and ALL this multi milion dollar probe can do is take pictures? ...

Re:Science has a high burden of proof. (2, Insightful)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 5 years ago | (#26953407)

Well if you had any knowledge of the rover mission you'd know that it was a geological mission, and the rover has many instruments for analyzing minerals in rocks.
It didn't have something to test for water on itself because when the mission was designed no one thought there might actually be liquid water splashing on the thing. It's easy to sit in your armchair and criticize something with 20/20 hindsight.

Re:Science has a high burden of proof. (3, Interesting)

khallow (566160) | more than 5 years ago | (#26952385)

Damn right it's my tax dollars at work, and millions of us approve of it.

I agree except with the "at work" part. Scientific exploration on Mars is just an expensive hobby right now. For example, if there had been 5 Phoenix landers instead of one (five landers incidentally would have cost less than five times the cost of one Phoenix lander), we'd be able to compare the legs of the working vehicles. By launching one, they eliminated an important part of scientific observation, namely being able to repeat an observation. As it is, I don't see how this discovery will be "confirmed" over any reasonable length of time. It may well be decades before anything concrete can be said.

As I see it, there are three ways they could make those tax dollars work for Mars exploration: 1) faster probe development and larger batch sizes when a probe is developed and built, 2) sample return, 2018 is the scheduled date for the first sample return mission, and 3) a long term manned presence on Mars. Some of these options will drive up costs a bit. But if you're interested in your tax dollars "working"...

Re:Do I have this right? (0, Troll)

zymano (581466) | more than 5 years ago | (#26951205)

Exactly. It's just stupid. I am assuming the batteries are down or the machine is broken but i doubt it.

It's just a big fuck up.

These rovers are stupid. We should have sent a cheaper drilling machine instead.

Re:Do I have this right? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26951253)

This way, NASA can ask for more money to send more rovers to see if the first rovers are wet. Then, and only then, will NASA say for sure that there might be more funding needed for more experiments to look for water.

Re:Do I have this right? (1)

DamienRBlack (1165691) | more than 5 years ago | (#26952917)

We sent a robot to look for water on Mars. It lands in an icy puddle, and gets covered in mud and tiny droplets (that behave just like water). But we can't tell if it's water or not. Your tax dollars at work!

This is why sending manned missions is so important. I know a lot of people think that manned missions are a waste of resources -- but probes have a limited function and cannot react in ways they weren't initially designed for.

A human can wipe a solar panel or go check on the dripping liquids. A human can fix things, change things, build things and so on. Maybe one day we'll have a probe/robot sophisticated enough to be some fraction as useful as a human, but in the meantime, man is our best probe.

pressure? (1)

Raleel (30913) | more than 5 years ago | (#26951231)

would the perchlorate they suspect in there keep it liquid at the (what I believe to be is) low atmospheric pressure on Mars? Seriously don't know :)

Re:pressure? (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#26952017)

would the perchlorate they suspect in there keep it liquid at the (what I believe to be is) low atmospheric pressure on Mars? Seriously don't know :)

Surface tension might be a factor as well. The forces which keep molecules stuck together on small scales can prevent water molecules from flying off.

Re:pressure? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26952129)

IIRC, some perchlorates are hygroscopic, meaning they absorb water out of the air, just like DampRid does. [wikipedia.org]

More disturbing, is that perchlorates tend to be corrosive, since they have lots of chemically bound oxygen. This means that those lovely dewdrops forming on the rover could be quite detrimental to it's health, if indeed they do contain perchlorates.

More interesting, is that one can liberate a good deal of oxygen gas from perchlorates when heated in a sealed crucible to it's critical temperature.

Not necessarily water... (1)

AnonGCB (1398517) | more than 5 years ago | (#26951275)

It could easily be some other liquid guys, for example, CO2 is common in the atmosphere there, and it does condense at the poles to ice, why not condense to water on the rovers?

Exactly. (2)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 5 years ago | (#26951295)

That's why scientists aren't calling it water.
I already see a few anti-science posts here, and it's astounding that these knuckle draggers don't understand that there is more than one substance this could be, and scientists won't say what it is until they can prove what it is.

Re:Exactly. (1)

Schemat1c (464768) | more than 5 years ago | (#26951435)

scientists won't say what it is until they can prove what it is.

You'd think they would have included a simple test to determine if any liquid they find is water since that is one of the main reasons they are there.

Also why is it so hard to detect life? I could get a crappy child's microscope and look at a drop of muddy water here on earth and easily find life. Why not include a simple microscope and look at a drop of the liquid?

Re:Exactly. (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 5 years ago | (#26951553)

tasks that are simple here on earth, are shit loads harder when your a few million miles away on another planet....

Re:Exactly. (1)

Schemat1c (464768) | more than 5 years ago | (#26951583)

tasks that are simple here on earth, are shit loads harder when your a few million miles away on another planet....

I understand this but these are simple enough tests to include considering the more advanced testing they did include.

Re:Exactly. (1)

T-Bone-T (1048702) | more than 5 years ago | (#26952441)

Obviously, you don't understand.

Re:Exactly. (1)

Schemat1c (464768) | more than 5 years ago | (#26952619)

Obviously, you don't understand.

Ok you can tell people they don't understand, congratulations. Now can you tell us why you do understand, maybe enlighten us with your superior understanding or do you just shout out insults from behind the safety of your PC like some paranoid Tourette's patient?

Re:Not necessarily water... (4, Informative)

cammoblammo (774120) | more than 5 years ago | (#26951357)

Carbon Dioxide won't condense to water because

1) It's not water; and
2) if you're meaning 'liquid' CO2 doesn't appear in a liquid form at pressures below 5.1 (Earth) atmospheres of pressure. On Mars it will only appear as either gas or 'dry ice.'

Of course, there are plenty of other liquids it could be, and that's why no-one in the know has actually identified it as water.

Re:Not necessarily water... (1)

AnonGCB (1398517) | more than 5 years ago | (#26951379)

I wasn't suggesting it would condense to water, but that it could be liquid CO2 as an alternative. I didn't realize though that it needed to be highly pressurized to be liquid though, thanks for correcting me.

Re:Not necessarily water... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26951365)

Dude, get your chemistry right. CO2 cannot be liquid at marsian pressures. Hell, it cannot even be liquid under standard earth pressure (that's why you call frozen CO2 it *dry* ice). To liquefy CO2 you need high pressure. I mean sheeeeesh, and you want to be a nerd?!

YuO fail i7. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26951281)

mire of deca7,

Silly (4, Insightful)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 5 years ago | (#26951287)

You'd think any lander we send up there looking for water would have the ability to analyze any liquid droplets growing, merging, and dripping on the lander's leg over the course of a Martian month.

Another example of why the "why send humans, robots can do everything just as well" idea is bogus. If that was an astronaut up there this would be resolved in a minute, not a month.

Re:Silly (5, Funny)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 5 years ago | (#26951335)

If that was an astronaut up there this would be resolved in a minute, not a month.

...Astronaut samples the water, "Hmm, tastes pretty good...gack...gack..." Cue any number of "Martian Zombie" movies... Now do you see why we just send robots? Sure their programming sometimes goes bad and they start killing us, but don't EAT OUR BRAINS!

Re:Silly (1)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 5 years ago | (#26951465)

Hmm, I meant more like analyzing by other means that tasting it...

Astronaut: "Mission Control, I see some strange liquid substance here on Mars, how should I proceed?"

Mission Control: "Hey, why don't you just pop it in your mouth, see what it tastes like"

Astronaut: "Mmm, yummy"

Mission Control: "You do realize that was a joke,...... right?"

Astronaut: "Must...kill...humans..."

Re:Silly (1)

physicsphairy (720718) | more than 5 years ago | (#26951481)

Sure their programming sometimes goes bad and they start killing us, but don't EAT OUR BRAINS!

Entirely their loss, as far as I'm concerned.

*is treated to a thoughtful lunch*

Re:Silly (1)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 5 years ago | (#26952853)

If that was an astronaut up there this would be resolved in a minute, not a month.

...Astronaut samples the water, "Hmm, tastes pretty good...gack...gack..." Cue any number of "Martian Zombie" movies... Now do you see why we just send robots? Sure their programming sometimes goes bad and they start killing us, but don't EAT OUR BRAINS!

You obviously haven't seen any Martian Zombie Robot films...

Re:Silly (3, Insightful)

Morty (32057) | more than 5 years ago | (#26951463)

Sending an astronaut is many times as expensive, since we need more safety, need to keep the astronaut alive during the long trip over, and need to bring the astronaut back. After all, we have already sent the lander, but are not scheduled to send people for many years. So it's probably better to send the machine and wait a month than to wait the many years before we can send a person.

It also helps to know a lot about the environment before we risk sending an astronaut.

Re:Silly (1)

dramaley (20773) | more than 5 years ago | (#26951831)

Sending an astronaut is many times as expensive, since we need more safety, need to keep the astronaut alive during the long trip over, and need to bring the astronaut back.

Why? Why not send the first astronauts on 1-way trips? Of course it would be a suicide mission, but i'm sure there would be plenty of volunteers. Rather than spend the resources to bring them back, use the same resources to send enough supplies that the astronaut is able to live on the surface of Mars for several years.

Re:Silly (1)

BlueStrat (756137) | more than 5 years ago | (#26953053)

Why? Why not send the first astronauts on 1-way trips? Of course it would be a suicide mission, but i'm sure there would be plenty of volunteers.

If we could somehow convince the terrorists now in Gitmo there are Westerners there to blow up, we could solve the one-way trip-volunteer problem AND the what-to-do-with-the-detainees-when-Gitmo-closes problem in one fell swoop.

A twofer!

Strat

Re:Silly (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#26953137)

There isn't really any need to bring the astronaut back. People don't like to think and talk that way, but I'll bet you a nickle that there wouldn't simply be someone willing to go, there would be a long line of people competing to go.

Re:Silly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26951523)

If that was an astronaut up there this would be resolved in a minute, not a month.

If that was an astronaut up there, he would have starved 19 times by now. Remember that the mission was planned for ninety days, and the robots celebrated their five-year anniversary about a month ago.

Re:Silly (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 5 years ago | (#26951833)

If you would have send humans, they would have already left the planet years ago and never made that discovery in the first place. Oh, an of course it would have cost 1000 times as much as those rovers. Humans in space really only serves the purpose of learning how to keep humans alive in space, if you want to get actual science done, you are much better of spending that money robots.

your math is lousy (1)

speedtux (1307149) | more than 5 years ago | (#26953291)

The Phoenix lander had an arm; it could have easily touched these globules to see whether they were liquid as well. It didn't because they were discovered after mission end. The same can happen to you on a manned mission. But let's look at the costs...

The Phoenix mission cost $386 million (development, launch, mission). That sounds like a lot until you realize that a single space shuttle launch costs $500 million. A human mission to Mars costs at least $500 billion if everything goes right. That's more than 1000 probes to Mars (and/or other planets)! And if we started mass producing space probes, the costs would go down very quickly.

For the cost of a single attempt at a manned Mars mission, we could send hundreds of probes to every plant and many planetoids and asteroids, drilling, searching for life, etc. Those probes would send back video, use arms, drive around the surface, analyze samples, fly, drill, explore oceans and gas planets. They could be remotely operated or work autonomously, depending on the situation. Powered by RTGs, they could operate for years and be ready and even available for rent. And we can send up these probes quickly and they can yield results quickly.

The idea that anybody would want to waste money on a manned mission to Mars is extremely frustrating. The scientific output from a manned mission would be tiny compared to what we can gain with unmanned probes.

As for the globules, we will know whether there is liquid water on Mars long before humans ever set foot on it, and at a miniscule fraction of the cost. In fact, the only way we an even have a manned mission to Mars is to gather a lot of data about the planet before going there.

So what? More important issue at this point ... (1)

cwtrex (912286) | more than 5 years ago | (#26951333)

It's awesome that we keep finding evidence of water on Mars, but how are astronauts going to live there long term? Expanded space crafts? Bubbles? Underground? Or how about an even better long term solution if eventually possible: strengthen the magnetic field for mars so it can hold more of an atmosphere while molding the air to our needs.

Re:So what? More important issue at this point ... (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 5 years ago | (#26951363)

i don't think the magnetic field is the problem, mars simlpy doesn't have a great enough mass for it's gravity to hold a thick enough atmosphere?

Re:So what? More important issue at this point ... (2, Funny)

Aris Katsaris (939578) | more than 5 years ago | (#26951439)

Well then, we just need to increase the gravitational constant of the universe as well.

Re:So what? More important issue at this point ... (1)

Suicyco (88284) | more than 5 years ago | (#26951729)

Of course it does, there is ample gravity for an atmosphere. The magnetic field isn't really the issue for an atmosphere, its the shielding from solar radiation that the magnetic field helps with. Without one, life will have a hard time taking hold, and living on the surface will be problematic.

Re:So what? More important issue at this point ... (1)

tcolberg (998885) | more than 5 years ago | (#26952445)

Isn't it also the case that the magnetic field helps shield atmospheres from being sandblasted by the solar wind? Isn't one of the current theories about early Martian atmosphere is that it was once thicker, but once the core cooled and the magnetic field dissipated, the atmosphere was thinned by the solar wind?

JPL's next grant application: is it water? (2, Insightful)

GSGKT (1140125) | more than 5 years ago | (#26951401)

Dear ___funding agency____, Is there surface water on Mars? We need to send another mission to Mars. It should cost less than the amount of money GM asked for bailout during this funding period to study this question, and 2 five-year funding periods to really find out. Please send money. JPL/NASA

Re:JPL's next grant application: is it water? (2)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 5 years ago | (#26951705)

Dear JPL. While we are thrilled about your discovery, Mars isn't going anywhere. We are trying to save the economy and lesten the impact of this economic down turn so that we can spend even more money on you guys in the future. Spending 10 billion on machinists creates more jobs than spending 10 billion on rocket scientists. Hope you understand.

Funding Agency.

Re:JPL's next grant application: is it water? (1)

GSGKT (1140125) | more than 5 years ago | (#26951819)

Dear Funding Agency: JPL has a great track record for "less money for greater success"! In addition, the initial $520M for Mars Lander projects has kept many physcists and engineers happily employed. Instead of giving $$ to further enrich Wall Street bankers, business exec, hedgefund traders, etc., this project will employ the brightest minds in this great country to achieve no other countries can in the next N years(and pile up more bull-s*&t here until the BS meter breaks).

Re:JPL's next grant application: is it water? (3, Insightful)

BlueStrat (756137) | more than 5 years ago | (#26953251)

Dear JPL. While we are thrilled about your discovery, Mars isn't going anywhere. We are trying to save the economy and lesten the impact of this economic down turn so that we can spend even more money on you guys in the future. Spending 10 billion on machinists creates more jobs than spending 10 billion on rocket scientists. Hope you understand.

Funding Agency.

Dear _Funding Agency_,

We here at JPL understand your position. Since you feel that the space program has no benefits worth funding, we'll be sending over a large fleet of trucks to collect all your computers and other technology made possible by research connected with said space program.

We understand your need to keep operating however, and in the spirit of mutual understanding you've shown us, we will be sending you Univac for your future computational needs. Please have a very large building with a large electrical power system and a team of vacuum-tube replacement technicians ready.

Best of luck,

JPL

Good News Everyone! (1)

jamesmcm (1354379) | more than 5 years ago | (#26951407)

This would make it much easier to set up a colony if we needed to. It'd be a bit like Dune, but at least it'd probably be possible now (although obv. oxygen and atmospheric pressure are still an issue)

but the bad news is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26951431)

If an astronaut wants to take a shower, he or she will be out of luck. The Martian folks that H.G. Wells wrote about, have dibs on all the hot water.

Did I miss something? (0)

nicklott (533496) | more than 5 years ago | (#26951461)

Sorry, I thought we'd already established that there was water on mars? You know, those giant ice cap things? The streams running down the slopes? Why do we have to be amazed and surprised each time we get a new picture of it?

I'm really failing to understand the priorities when it comes to exploration of Mars. All missions are now touted as searching for either water or "life", presumably to garner a bit of publicity in order to keep their funding. We must by now be 100% confident there is H20 there now, and 99.98% certain that there is no, and never has been, life. Also if we're wrong about the 0.02% we can be 100% confident that it is at least 2 billion years since it last metabolized whatever it is that hypothetical martians metabolize and therefore will have no ascertainable impact on, well, anything. Even geological literature will be pretty much unmoved at this point.

Anyway, the point is; can't we start doing some interesting stuff on Mars now? Send some monkeys up there or something?

Re:Did I miss something? (4, Funny)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 5 years ago | (#26951599)

please go back to watching american idol now, grown ups will keep doing the science. *pats on head*

Re:Did I miss something? (2, Funny)

nicklott (533496) | more than 5 years ago | (#26951797)

Actually the final year of my space science degree almost entirely revolved around martian geology and impact cratering (you wanna know how many craters per square km there are in amazonis planitia? or the southern highlands? TS, go count em yourself...)

So anyway, bite me.

Re:Did I miss something? (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 5 years ago | (#26951955)

sorry, your comment made it sound like you were a memeber of the american idol/ring tone generation.

Re:Did I miss something? (1)

nicklott (533496) | more than 5 years ago | (#26952069)

I am not. I am however frustrated by the singular lack of real progress that anyone's made in the 15 years since I was involved. Most of the Spirit/Opportunity mission seems to be mainly about confirming stuff that we were already pretty sure of, plus getting a few more pictures.

Which is not to say driving a buggy around mars is not pretty cool, but it's not really going anywhere.

Re:Did I miss something? (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 5 years ago | (#26952373)

While you may have some info that has not been conveyed to the general public, it seems to me that the question of whether their is life is still not really answered, and the question of whether there ever was life, certainly has not been answered. That being said, as far as I know, you are correct that we now KNOW that there is water on Mars, and only "Dinosaur bones are Satan trying to trick us." crowd would think that sending up humans, monkeys, or whatever would completely eradicate any signs of pre-human life on Mars. And, I would guess that those 'KNOW' that there has never been life there, just like they 'KNOW' that dinosaurs never existed.

So, while I do slightly disagree with a couple of your reasoning points, I have to say that your conclusion is absolutely correct.

Phoenix was above the triple point (4, Interesting)

mbone (558574) | more than 5 years ago | (#26951795)

I don't see that this is that surprising. The Phoenix landing site was low enough to have the surface pressure above the "triple point" of water, so liquid water is just a matter of having it being warm enough (or having enough salts to depress the freezing point enough).

Re:Phoenix was above the triple point (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#26952101)

Makes me wonder if all the digging into the permafrost increased humidity around the lander, and caused condensation on the structure.

nice, but not surprising (2, Informative)

speedtux (1307149) | more than 5 years ago | (#26952559)

The fact that liquid water can be stable on the surface of Mars has been known for a while. Direct observation, of course, is nice. The next question is whether there might be significant open bodies of water (brine) in some locations. Some satellite photographs could be interpreted that way.

The existence of perchlorates adds another dimension, though, because they are such an effective anti-freeze and a potential metabolite. The perchlorates might actually be biologically generated on Mars, somewhat similar to the way organisms on Earth have generated large amounts of oxygen and changed the environment on a global scale. On Earth, reduction in CO2 levels was an important factor in making the climate more hospitable, and on Mars, generation of perchlorates may make the water more accessible.

Martian month? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26953125)

Is that a Phobos month, or a Deimos month?

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