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NASA Mars Rover Begins Examining Strange Slab Nicknamed "Windjana"

samzenpus posted about 5 months ago | from the check-it-out dept.

Mars 38

An anonymous reader writes in with this bit of news about the Mars rover Curiosity. "NASA's Curiosity Mars rover is using several tools this weekend to take a closer look at a sandstone slab being assessed as a possible drilling target. If it fits the bill, the target could become Curiosity's third drilled rock. 'Windjana,' named after a gorge in Western Australia, would be the mission's first drilled rock that is not mudstone. To determine whether Curiosity should drill at Windjana, engineers have asked the rover to perform a number of tasks, including observations with the camera and X-ray spectrometer located at the end of the its arm and interpretations of composition at different points on the rock with a device that fires laser shots from the rover's mast."

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no need for a giant 'laser beam' (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46857181)

we have us http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=weather+manipulation+WMD

Keep looking (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46857207)

for the aliens on mars, u fucking conspiracy wacko

no need to look for martians (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46857267)

talk about illegal aliens http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=nazi+zion+mutants

grossly offensive to Muslims (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46857193)

'How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property - either as a child, a wife, or a concubine - must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men.

'Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities. Thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the Queen: all know how to die. But the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytising faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science - the science against which it had vainly struggled - the civilisation of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilisation of ancient Rome.'

http://www.jihadwatch.org/2014/04/uk-churchill-quotation-gets-liberty-gb-leader-paul-weston-arrested

Yesterday, in Hampshire, Paul Weston, the chairman of a newish political party called Liberty GB and a candidate in next month's European elections, was speaking on the steps of Winchester Guildhall and quoted that same Churchill passage. A half-dozen police officers arrested him

Re:grossly offensive to Muslims (0)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 5 months ago | (#46857383)

Re:grossly offensive to Muslims (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46957785)

K. S. Kyosuke: You've been called out (for tossing names) & you ran "forrest" from a fair challenge http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org]

Re:grossly offensive to Muslims (0)

jandersen (462034) | about 5 months ago | (#46857439)

Grossly offensive to Muslims? Not really - that sort of tripe is an insult to the intelligence of anybody and a disgrace to whoever utters it, be he ever so much a national icon. As for the socalled 'party', Liberty GB, I couldn't find anything on Google other than their own self-aggrandising statements; they seem to be a non-entity in real life.

As for Winston Churchill, his excuse was that he was born in an age where the British seriously believed they were set on Earth to rule the world and extend their benign superiority to the lower races. Paul Weston has no such excuse.

Re:grossly offensive to Muslims (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46857493)

Of course the content, right or wrong isn't really the point here.

It's the thought police, but I guess that as long as the speech is contrary to your agenda you have no problem with the whole 'shut up' thing then huh?

Nice argument you've got there.

Liberty GB (1, Offtopic)

hessian (467078) | about 5 months ago | (#46857517)

Try this:

http://libertygb.org.uk/v1/ [libertygb.org.uk]

As you know -- well, you didn't obviously -- LIberty GB is a new party composed of experienced people from older parties.

Not really - that sort of tripe is an insult to the intelligence of anybody and a disgrace to whoever utters it, be he ever so much a national icon.

The arrogance of the prole.

Will we get more information about possible life? (3, Interesting)

bejiitas_wrath (825021) | about 5 months ago | (#46857197)

Will we get information from this rock concerning ancient life? There could have been life on mars in ancient times that was wiped out when the atmosphere disappeared. That would be very intriguing for humanity. Better news than the search for this so-called missing plane or the Royals tour.

But but but... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46857219)

What if.... the plane turns up on Mars? Kidnapped by the Martians ;)

Re:Will we get more information about possible lif (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46857243)

Just wait until the rock fires back

Re:Will we get more information about possible lif (2)

Applehu Akbar (2968043) | about 5 months ago | (#46858723)

Or starts playing music, especially if it's Strauss.

Can you get blood from a stone ? (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 5 months ago | (#46857463)

Will we get information from this rock concerning ancient life?

If you want blood from a stone I know a good lawyer, he reckons the legality of using a laser on the bastard is a bit "iffy" and should only be used if you have a ironclad alibi.

Re:Will we get more information about possible lif (4, Interesting)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 5 months ago | (#46857573)

Will we get information from this rock concerning ancient life? There could have been life on mars in ancient times that was wiped out when the atmosphere disappeared.

Sandstone would be a natural repository for the building blocks of life and biosignatures the limited mining abilities of the rover could exploit; a fact not lost on the very smart folks at NASA.

This would be very intriguing for humanity.

Unfortunately, not even nearly as intriguing as a mysteriously missing plane or the daily weather report for most of the humans presently making up "humanity".

Re:Will we get more information about possible lif (1)

Kjella (173770) | about 5 months ago | (#46860157)

Unfortunately, not even nearly as intriguing as a mysteriously missing plane or the daily weather report for most of the humans presently making up "humanity".

Well, most of the time nothing newsworthy happens with the occasional huge discovery but it's practically impossible to average it out. CERN discovers the Higgs boson, off the scale news. The years of design, construction, testing, ramp-up and so on what's there to report but "we're working on it, we were working on it yesterday and we'll keep working on it tomorrow", it's not a process built to entertain an audience. Just because it's important doesn't mean there's a whole lot to say about it until it's done, unless you're interested in tedious technical details. Also as far as media companies are concerned, all their competitors will have the exact same story so it's market neutral, they're all looking for unique material that'll send all the traffic to their site. As a businessman I'd rather push an exclusive story about something less important than being one of a thousand reporting the same thing.

Re:Will we get more information about possible lif (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46857807)

"Will we get information from this rock concerning ancient life?"

Impossible to tell before it has been investigated.

Re:Will we get more information about possible lif (3, Funny)

Zaiff Urgulbunger (591514) | about 5 months ago | (#46860117)

Having quickly skimmed over TFA, I strongly suspect that the "cement-like fluids on Mars" were what caused the fall of the Martian Empire.

Tomorow I'll look at another stone slighly darker (1)

advid.net (595837) | about 5 months ago | (#46857227)

I vaguely remember a comic where a mars explorer writes his monotonous diary, and where the most exciting moment of the week would be to go a few metres far to have a look at a slightly darker stone...

Is that an xkcd ? I can't find it.

Re:Tomorow I'll look at another stone slighly dark (3, Funny)

Gavagai80 (1275204) | about 5 months ago | (#46857249)

Maybe https://xkcd.com/695/ [xkcd.com]

Re:Tomorow I'll look at another stone slighly dark (1)

advid.net (595837) | about 5 months ago | (#46857261)

Not this one. I think I was a human explorer, planing to have a look to such a stone.

Re:Tomorow I'll look at another stone slighly dark (1)

coolsnowmen (695297) | about 5 months ago | (#46860669)

I'm sorry, there are other comics than xkcd? Maybe in the multiverse...

Re:Tomorow I'll look at another stone slighly dark (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46857275)

I get choked up every time.

Lib CNN reporter loses bet and welches HAHAHAHAH (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46857269)

http://legalinsurrection.com/2014/04/cnn-analyst-welches-on-bet-after-andrew-branca-wins-stand-your-ground-debate/

Sunny Hostin, a CNN legal analyst. At one point her debate partner. Attorney Rice-Lave, made the statement that it was “indisputed” that George Zimmerman had gotten out of his car after being told by police not to.

Well, I pretty much know the relevant 911 audio by heart, and knew that was wrong. Zimmerman never was ordered not to get out of his car.

I immediately offered her a $100 wager that Zimmerman had never been told by police to stay in his car.

The next morning I sent Sunny the link to the 911 audio, which lacked any mention of the police telling Zimmerman to stay in his car, and offered to send her my mailing address so she could send me my $100.

She has not paid, changed the subject when I contacted her on Twitter, and now refuses to communicate on the issue.

Re:Lib CNN reporter loses bet and welches HAHAHAHA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46857797)

I shall add her to my ignore list! ..wait, who was she again?

monolith (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46857345)

Damn! I though they had found the monolith. Life would have been so much better going forward.

Re:monolith (1)

poobahtim (1435517) | about 5 months ago | (#46861059)

Phew! I was really, really, surprised to see it take this long for this comment! I can't believe the editors/moderators didn't tag it as such...

We send an explorer to another world... (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 5 months ago | (#46857537)

... and blast at things with ray guns.

FOR SCIENCE!

Cool.

Laser shots? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46857565)

Did they learn nothing from the whole Mysterons incident?

must get out more (1)

Necroloth (1512791) | about 5 months ago | (#46857593)

for some reason, whenever I see 'windjana', I keep on thinking of a flatulent reproductive part.

Re:must get out more (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46857625)

The Rover's not THAT brave. It'll do anything for science, but it won't do that.

Re:must get out more (1)

Necroloth (1512791) | about 5 months ago | (#46857681)

Meatloaf... is that you?

The two year long road trip (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46858725)

They're nowhere near Mt. Sharp yet because they underestimated what would happen if you put a hundred geologists in charge.

Why are all Mars stories pitched as "omg aliens?" (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about 5 months ago | (#46859757)

The summary and original article do everything but say "this might have been created by aliens!" until you read the fine print. Stick to Kartrashian headlines if you think science is that boring.

Oil (1)

alphabet26 (534873) | about 5 months ago | (#46859867)

No life... just lots and lots of oil...

How Long Will Curiosity Be Funded? (2)

cusco (717999) | about 5 months ago | (#46859897)

Notice that the miniscule budgets for Opportunity and the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter have been zeroed-out by the White House for next fiscal year. For a savings of a whopping $25 million, 0.15% of the NASA budget. Funding is nominally restored in a supplemental budget appropriation, but there is no guarantee that the White House will even present the supplemental appropriation to Congress much less that the anti-science right-wingnuts in Congress will pass it.

Stop the drilling on Mars! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46860115)

Join me in signing a petition asking the president to instruct NASA to stop drilling on other planets. They will find no oil.

Stop Extraterran Fracking !

Will no one think of the little martian children frozen in their subsurface egg chambers?

Re:Stop the drilling on Mars! (1)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | about 5 months ago | (#46861647)

I'm fine with the drilling. I just have issues with the Keystone XXXXXXXL pipeline they're planning on building...

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