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442 comments

Total recall (1, Offtopic)

cachimaster (127194) | more than 7 years ago | (#18371439)

Total first post recall

Ray Bradbury and Burroughs were right! (0)

Walt Dismal (534799) | more than 7 years ago | (#18371465)

Water! Aha! Past canals! Aha! Okay, next step is, find the caves the Martians lived in. And see if you can find any preserved Martian porn!

Re:Ray Bradbury and Burroughs were right! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18371517)

Water! Aha! Past canals! Aha! Okay, next step is, find the caves the Martians lived in. And see if you can find any preserved Martian porn!


And then what? Upload to Youtube and get sued by Viacom?

There is even more water (1)

Electric-PI (1021677) | more than 7 years ago | (#18371745)

This is very exciting as it makes the idea of colonizing Mars sometime in the next 100 or 150 years a little closer. The article mentions even more water:

"There's evidence that about 10 times or maybe even 100 times that much water has flowed across the surface of Mars to carve the various channels, the outflow valleys and other features we see in the images and topography data,"
The Article also does mention that:

The reflected beams revealed that 90 percent or more of the frozen polar material is pure water ice, sprinkled with dust particles.
Does that mean it's usable fresh water? I guess analysis of that ice would be high on the to do list.

Re:Total recall (0, Offtopic)

rez_rat (1618) | more than 7 years ago | (#18371865)

I was going to say something REALLY smart here!... but I totally don't recall what I was going to say!??

S-

Why couldn't NASA do this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18371453)

Fucking Europeans are really showing us up. We need a moon mission to stick it in their face.

Re:Why couldn't NASA do this? (5, Insightful)

Seumas (6865) | more than 7 years ago | (#18371537)

Because, in America we don't care about achievement in discovery. The typical attitude is something like why should we spend two billion dollars exploring space when we have real problems in our own country. Yes, that true American spirit that has propelled us since the first foot was stepped on the shores of this country is dead and buried. *sigh*

Seriously, when was the last time you heard a kid cite some social parasite, sports star or rapper as one of their heroes? When was the last time you heard one name an astronaut? In fact, how many people can name even one astronaut that is currently active in the space program?

Unless it involves devising some mechanism of getting us beer, porn or baby jebus in larger quantities and more efficient rates, my fellow Americans largely don't give a damn.

Re:Why couldn't NASA do this? (3, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#18371577)

So, do ya think that maybe the massive amounts of marketting and promotion that NASA did in the 60s might have had something to do with them being a lot more popular then than they are now?

Re:Why couldn't NASA do this? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18371599)

Well.. I could play hockey/football/basketball when I was a kid.. Must have missed astronaut 101 in high school.. Keep your dreams to yourself you (beep)ing yank.

Re:Why couldn't NASA do this? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18371643)

In fact, how many people can name even one astronaut that is currently active in the space program?
Well, if you had asked a week ago, I'm sure most people could have named Lisa Nowak... ;-)

But seriously, why would it have to be an astronaut "currently active" in the space program? Surely you could still have Neil Armstrong or John Glenn be your astronaut hero. I'm sure a lot of people still hold up Michael Jordan as their sports hero, even though he's been retired for years.

How many astronauts these days are doing "heroic" things? Heroes are unique; you don't get to be a hero if there are a hundred other people who do what you do. Hops to LEO in a shuttle doesn't make you a hero to many people, no matter how much work it took to get there. Being the first man to land on the Moon, however, can make you a hero for all time.

Re:Why couldn't NASA do this? (5, Insightful)

Seumas (6865) | more than 7 years ago | (#18371743)

In fact, how many people can name even one astronaut that is currently active in the space program?
Well, if you had asked a week ago, I'm sure most people could have named Lisa Nowak... ;-)

But seriously, why would it have to be an astronaut "currently active" in the space program? Surely you could still have Neil Armstrong or John Glenn be your astronaut hero. I'm sure a lot of people still hold up Michael Jordan as their sports hero, even though he's been retired for years.
That illustrates my point precisely. First, on the sports angle - it's sad that we would even compare some guy who scored lots of points in a game where you throw a ball in a hole and who could jump high to a guy who straps himself into skyscraper sized machine with enough fuel to incinerate Florida, escapes the atmosphere, throws on a suit and leaves the shuttle to walk around in the empty vacuum of space, tethered by a little stringy rope and risking his life every second of the way in a manner that no other man or woman on the planet could even comprehend.

Second, on the Neil Armstrong angle. That the only space heroes we could conjure up are those that were around when most of our parents were still watching Saturday morning cartoons is the perfect illustration of how pathetic our desire for exploration has become. Astronauts today are doing far more heroic things every time they step into that suit above and beyond most other human beings. Unfortunately, they are not big, bold, earth-shattering things leading to immense progress. Again, that illustrates the entire problem at hand. We don't have any Buzz Aldrins or Neil Armstrongs at the moment, because we are too busy cutting their budgets, reducing the grandness of their adventures and explaining away the loss of our societal fascination with and dedication to advancement.

There's nothing wrong with admiring sports figures, but neither Kobe Bryant nor Paris Hilton are ever going to discover anything great. Lead man to a new world. Or save man from himself by finding "new lands".

I envy that my parents were a live in a time when a president put an impossible challenge in front of a nation and then they watched nervously as it culminated in potentially the greatest achievement in the whole of history. I envy that the memories my parents and generations before them have are not limited to two space shuttles exploding and screwing up a little robot rover launch, because we used imperial instead of metric measurements.

Re:Why couldn't NASA do this? (1, Interesting)

thrawn_aj (1073100) | more than 7 years ago | (#18371673)

I feel your pain. But you should know that throught history, the people who really contributed to the advancement of the human race (many a time ignoring the flames licking their feet as they stood at the stake) constituted a tiny minority of humanity (at best). As such, innovation and the frontier spirit has remained the domain of a significant few, rather than the multitudinous drones that form the background noise on this lil rock we call home. If that sounds elitist, it really isn't. All I'm saying is that there is no pre-ordained reason why the human race should or shouldn't have a profound future. What is true (and what we should accept and move on) is that only a small fraction of humanity will ever recognize profundity when they see it :P. And please don't fel bad about your country, it is really a global phenomenon. Until a few centuries ago, the operative word was "anti-science" - i.e. active hostility against science. Then even the most retarded of the drones realized that science was the goose that laid the golden eggs and you didn't even have to acknowledge the goose! - just grab the eggs and praise god (I don't abuse my capitals thank you very much :P) for the bounty :P. So now we live in a period where anti-science has been replaced by apathy to science. It's a sort of knee-jerk reaction to the fact that the world owes the scientific community a heavy debt and is trying to welsh out of it ;-). No matter, no one's in a hurry. Time enough for us to evolve fully.

Re:Why couldn't NASA do this? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18371963)

As such, innovation and the frontier spirit has remained the domain of a significant few, rather than the multitudinous drones that form the background noise on this lil rock we call home. If that sounds elitist, it really isn't.

Two comments on this:

1. If you constrain "innovation" to "technological innovation" you are right, in a way, but probably not in a way you think: While people doing technological advancements are few as a fraction of the population, technological "breakthroughs" are hardly done by the single, lonesome genius in his basement. Innovations are often developed independently and in teams and even if you hear of a single name, there's often more than one person behind it and even that team massively builds on other published scientific work done by others. So, yes, technological advancement is done by a small portion of society but it's hardly done by "one-in-a-century" figures.

2. I'd argue that social progress is as important as technological one. Yes, I do complain about the social sciences, too (esp. since some do look more like proto-science), but without social progress we end up having (for example, the nuclear bomb) but lack the social framework to deal with it, resulting in catastrophic consequences that are proportional to the technology's power.

Re:Why couldn't NASA do this? (5, Insightful)

Nyeerrmm (940927) | more than 7 years ago | (#18371781)

To be fair, I do some work with kids for educational outreach for space exploration, and one thing that I've always find amazing is that whenever I get in to the question and answer part (usually preparing for something else fun) there's always a couple of kids who have some amazingly fun and insightful questions like 'What planet would you visit if you could?' or 'When do you think we'll have a Mars base?' To be fair, it's a minority of the kids who seem really interested in space exploration or anything beyond a 'whoa, that was really cool!' type of thing (I do mostly rocketry stuff for that reason,) but I feel that a minority are all you need.

I had a discussion with another student a week or so ago about the politics of space exploration, and who of the upcoming nominees would be the best choice with regards to NASA funding and private exploration legislation (I currently think its Bill Richardson, despite my partisanship,) and one of the main things that stuck out at me in our discussion was that it doesn't matter if the public is really excited about it, it just matters that a small minority are willing to put their effort into it, and the majority are willing to tolerate a very minor part of the budget on it ($15 billion is not that much as far as the national budget is concerned.) Not that I wouldn't be ecstatic if everyone started cheering as loudly for a discovery of a life-developing extra-solar planet, or even the discovery of vast liquid seas on Titan, but what we currently have is better than nothing. A couple more billion to allow for more robots along with 'Moon, Mars and Beyond' would be amazing though.

Anyway, I don't have a problem with the Europeans making this discovery, and I'm as patriotic as anyone, because this kind of thing is a human endeavor, and I'm just happy that my country can make a significant impact.

To sum this little rant up, I'd be very happy if our celebrity obsessed culture got over the obsession, but it really doesn't worry me much. My one real concern for the long term future of the US (long-term meaning hopefully not Iraq, Afghanistan, or even immigration) is our educational system so we can remain competitive (but not necessarily dominant) in the technology and discoveries of the future.

Re:Why couldn't NASA do this? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18371935)

Because, in America we don't care about achievement in discovery. The typical attitude is something like why should we spend two billion dollars exploring space when we have real problems in our own country.

Yeah, that really explains why NASA has a budget about the size of all of the other space programs in the world combined. And it sure as hell explains why NASA was the only space agency in the world to launch any probes to Jupiter or further (including the recent probes to Saturn and Pluto). And it sure as hell explains why NASA is the only agency that has successfully landed on Mars and why NASA recently launched MRO.

You sir, are full of shit. As far as planetary exploration goes, NASA is second to none. NASA probably launches 5 times [wikipedia.org] as many probes as the ESA and probably spends 10 times as much money on the research from the probes (including additional funding from the Dept of Education and NSF). But if you want to debate what is happening today, compare how many space probes NASA is currently operating in our solar system compared to the rest of the world. If the ESA thinks that putting up Mars Express, Venus Express, Rosetta, and the piggyback Huygens probe makes them a real space exploration power, they are sadly mistaken. In that same period NASA has launched the multibillion dollar Cassini probe (the expensive part), Deep Space 1&2, Mars Climate Orbiter (failed), Mars Polar Lander (failed), Stardust, Genesis, Mars Odyssey, CONTOUR (failed), two half billion dollar Mars Exploration Rovers, MESSENGER, Deep Impact, MRO, New Horizons, and STEREO. There is no comparison whatsoever.

Re:Why couldn't NASA do this? (2, Insightful)

regularstranger (1074000) | more than 7 years ago | (#18371869)

Space is a pretty big place. I think there's room for people who are not Americans to make discoveries. Also, if the patriotic aspect of exploring space is so important, it's not like NASA didn't play any role in this discovery.

Just wait.. (1)

dreadknought (324674) | more than 7 years ago | (#18371457)

Just wait 'til we bring global warming there. We'll finally have an ocean planet in our solar system!

Re:Just wait.. (0)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 7 years ago | (#18371487)

didn't you see that article here like a week ago? Global warming IS happening on Mars at the same time. Don't remember if it was our fault or not though lol....oh yeah, they blamed the sun in that one. Soon it's gonna be waterworld over there lol (jk it's like -86 there or something so it'd have to warm a lot)

Re:Just wait.. (1)

Harmonious Botch (921977) | more than 7 years ago | (#18371497)

It's already happening. TFA has a link entitled: * Sun Blamed for Warming of Earth and Other Worlds

Clicking on that link leads to text that starts with the following:
"Earth is heating up lately, but so are Mars, Pluto and other worlds in our solar system, leading some scientists to speculate that a change in the sun's activity is the common thread linking all these baking events."

I can't wait to surf Mars. With moons that close, there ought to be tidal swells that one could ride forever.

Re:Just wait.. (4, Insightful)

shess (31691) | more than 7 years ago | (#18371667)

I can't wait to surf Mars. With moons that close, there ought to be tidal swells that one could ride forever.

Dude, Earth's moon is millions of times heavier than the moons of Mars. They're going to have to be pretty damn close to get a tidal swell worth riding, even with the reduced gravity.

Re:Just wait.. (2, Funny)

triso (67491) | more than 7 years ago | (#18371715)

It's already happening. TFA has a link entitled: * Sun Blamed for Warming of Earth and Other Worlds...
Why do they blame only Sun? I think that IBM and Apple are just as guilty, if not more.

Re:Just wait.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18371769)

And other studies found that all the crap we've put into the air is actually blocking out some of the sun.

Global warming beat us there (4, Interesting)

patio11 (857072) | more than 7 years ago | (#18371523)

http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/mars_ice-age _031208.html [space.com]

Its always fun saying "Mars has global warming" to a room full of people who consider themselves "educated enough to know that global warming denial is an unscientific crock". You first get a bit of laughter, and then about 15 seconds later the implication dawns on them, and they'll say the satellites were busted, the protocols unscientific, and that whatever boring astronomer produced the result must be a stooge for Big Carbon.

Re:Global warming beat us there (2, Funny)

haakondahl (893488) | more than 7 years ago | (#18371587)

No Sweat. We'll just send Al Gore. With all of his hot air, the temperature difference between Mars and Earth should narrow significantly.


Heh. The CAPTCHA for this post was "airbag".

Re:Global warming beat us there (1, Troll)

fredrated (639554) | more than 7 years ago | (#18371707)

I have a better idea, let's send you and George Bush, then the bs and the danger to humans on this planet will both go down.

Re:Global warming beat us there (1)

MADCOWbeserk (515545) | more than 7 years ago | (#18371879)

People people, no need to argue.... We can send all the politicians. And maybe the lawyers too. And the Televangelists. And the RIAA. and Dane Cook...

Re:Global warming beat us there (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18371627)

Fucking troll. Flamebait garbage post.

Re:Global warming beat us there (4, Insightful)

krotkruton (967718) | more than 7 years ago | (#18371809)

You need to change that to people who consider themselves "educated enough to know that global warming denial is an unscientific crock" while not understanding that it is also caused by natural phenomena, to which you seem to fit into at least half of that definition. Just because Mars has global warming or the Earth has had global warming in the past doesn't mean that we aren't causing it now and that the effects of our added global warming won't be significantly different from natural global warming.

Besides that, most dictionaries define global warming as something related only to the Earth and also as needing measurements taken over decades, neither of which apply when used in the phrase "Mars has global warming". Your linked article talks about measurements taken over 2 years, which is hardly enough to claim that global warming is taking place on Mars (assuming of course, that global warming is defined that way), but good try.

Re:Global warming beat us there (5, Insightful)

spicate (667270) | more than 7 years ago | (#18371817)

It might be fun to at least consider looking into your statements of 'fact'. For example, you might think about whether the statement "Mars has global warming" is a scientific fact, or just a hypothesis still in need of testing... or it might be fun just to smirk and assume you have all the answers.

Your link, for example, says, "new data points to the possibility" of a warming trend. Here, in contrast, is someone disputing (in just one of many ways) your implicit suggestion that both Mars and Earth are warming due to some external cause:

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=192 [realclimate.org]

Another thing to consider: "more study is needed" (from your space.com citation).

Finally, even if Mars is experiencing 'global warming' - is it of the same magnitude that we are? Why is it happening? You seem pretty eager to latch on to whatever evidence supports your theory without finding out very much about it...

Re:Just wait.. (4, Insightful)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 7 years ago | (#18371757)

If 10 meters of water on average is an ocean planet, what is Earth? We are covered to two thirds in water, and a lot of it is hundreds of meters deep.

If the water depth would be ten meters on average, those oceans would be puddles compared to ours.

Unless of course this "10 meter" average is some really stupid number in which higher ground is counted as "negatively submerged".

oh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18371463)

Tera-Formation anyone?

Re:oh? (1)

mdkathon (579667) | more than 7 years ago | (#18371675)

Though I am not prepared to sight sources. I'm pretty sure most of the community that studies "teraforming" Mars would be a lengthly/lost cause as the atmosphere is too light to hold particles like oxygen. The reason Mars is what it is now is due to its lack of magnetic field which would "hold" the important building blocks of life.

It's not water, it's oxygen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18371467)

The surveyor must have mixed up "water" with "oxygen". All they need to do now is find the alien terraforming machine before Quaid suffocates...

All we need now... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18371479)

All we need now is the governator and a giant alien machine, and we can have Total Recall. ;)

Time to get the board shorts out. (1)

defiant1 (831834) | more than 7 years ago | (#18371485)

I wonder what the beaches would be like... and i would hate that red sand in your car!

Re:Time to get the board shorts out. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18371693)

Sand in the car would be the least of your worries.

Core of the planet cooled? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18371501)

Is this because the core of the planet cooled down? No geysers... Maybe I shouldn't build an entropy engine then.

Let's add some heat! (2, Interesting)

PapayaSF (721268) | more than 7 years ago | (#18371509)

This sounds like the idea of terraforming Mars just got a lot closer to doable. Wouldn't evaporating or boiling some of the water via nuclear reactors or orbiting mirrors increase the humidity and heat retention of the atmosphere, and eventually create a climate in which many earth organisms could thrive?

Re:Let's add some heat! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18371653)

yea, call ahnold and get him to press the three fingered button.

Re:Let's add some heat! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18371687)

Except that water molecules are a bit too light and likely to escape Mars' gravity well (or be kicked out of it). Nothing like having an atmosphere just to lose it into space.

The problem with Mars is that it's a little too small and has no magnetic field to keep the solar wind away. Oh well, not unfixable, but we'll need a little more technology to move it further from the Sun (perhaps in orbit around Jupiter?)

Re:Let's add some heat! (2, Interesting)

Atlantis-Rising (857278) | more than 7 years ago | (#18371733)

Yes. To start, let's de-orbit one of Mars' moons, and then bombard the planet with sufficient water asteroids (a chunk of water ice totalling a few million cublic kilometres would probably do, but you'd need a lot of smaller chunks) to both significantly increase the water on the surface as well as increasing the gravity. We can continue bombarding the planet with relatively large asteroids to work on the surface gravity while we move orbital mirrors into position and begin to eat the place up.

As you say, not unfixable... just kind of difficult, especially with our currently-pathetic space programs.

Re:Let's add some heat! (2, Interesting)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 7 years ago | (#18371723)

Without addressing the fundamental flaws with the idea of terraforming in any form, no.

The conditions that caused the loss of the original atmosphere are still present, and even presuming you could start melting the water somehow, and then put some sort of hardy organisms on there to make an Earth-like atmosphere, it would only last until you ran out of water, then you would be back in the same boat, except now all the water would be gone.

        Brett

Re:Let's add some heat! (1)

king-manic (409855) | more than 7 years ago | (#18371763)

The conditions that caused the loss of the original atmosphere are still present, and even presuming you could start melting the water somehow, and then put some sort of hardy organisms on there to make an Earth-like atmosphere, it would only last until you ran out of water, then you would be back in the same boat, except now all the water would be gone.


You do realize that'd likely be in the order of several thousand years.

Re:Let's add some heat! (1)

Psychotria (953670) | more than 7 years ago | (#18371731)

I'm not sure that the presence of water is enough. Mars' atmosphere a surface pressure 1% (from memory) of the Earths. If we 'release' the frozen ice, won't a whole heap of water simply 'evaporate' into space? I'm not a mars terraforming expert, but it seems to me that having water is just one of many things needed.

Re:Let's add some heat! (1)

Simon Garlick (104721) | more than 7 years ago | (#18371755)

This sounds like the idea of terraforming Mars just got a lot closer to doable.

How 'bout we start small, huh? Like... spacecraft that don't blow up.

Where is the alien reactor? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18371529)

Where is the alien nuclear reactor (that you start by pressing your hand into the middle of the thingamabob, which then drops down glowing green, that starts the nuclear reaction (that melts the ice, creating the oxygen for the planet) and thus, allows Arnie and the hot-chick to have a happy-ever-after? I mean come on people! Quatro said there was a reactor. Doug Quaid is the man for the job! He just needs to get a cup (a sports cup) so that when Sharon Stone starts kicking him 'there', he doesn't fall to the floor crying like a little girl. Did I miss anything?

Re:Where is the alien reactor? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18371575)

It's Kuato, not Quatro. Other than that, pretty much right. :-)

ok, where was I when... (3, Interesting)

7-Vodka (195504) | more than 7 years ago | (#18371533)

It seems like the last time I heard of this topic the scientists were trying to find any evidence of water on Mars.
Now, they've found a massive amount and the F article states:
  1. Discovered in the early 1970s, layered deposits of ice and dust cap the North and South Poles of Mars.
  2. Scientists have long known that Mars' north polar cap is a massive storehouse of water ice...

So what gives? My vague memory says in the nineties they were still looking for any signs of water and now it's old news?

Liquid water (4, Informative)

Rix (54095) | more than 7 years ago | (#18371573)

They've been looking for signs of liquid water, primarily in the distant past.

Re:ok, where was I when... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18371857)

There's a difference between " measurable presence of water" and "a significant presence of water that has/had geological and climatical impact."

Frozen Water? (3, Funny)

Rie Beam (632299) | more than 7 years ago | (#18371579)

Mars is unlikely to sport beachfront property anytime soon, but the planet has enough water ice at its south pole to blanket the entire planet in more than 30 feet of water if everything thawed out.

So how many Hummers are we talking about here?

Re:Frozen Water? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18371701)

There'll be time for that later, but how are we going to warm the planet?

Where should we drill first (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18371585)

Wonder where on the ice we should drill first that has the best chance of detecting life (bottom/outer edge?)?

Quality of life on Mars (1)

Chayak (925733) | more than 7 years ago | (#18371605)

Just think of the relief for future explores. They can now have a nice alcoholic beverage on the rocks and not feel guilty about using precious water. Mars Snow Cones and Mars Bottled Water (patents pending) is taken so stay away you sharks!

Re:Quality of life on Mars (1)

Carthag (643047) | more than 7 years ago | (#18371807)

A method through which to deliver monoxide dihydrogen via an interplanetary liquid fuel propulsion engine; a method to gather and store said monoxide dihydrogen for later distribution; finally, a method to carve said monoxide dihydrogen into specifically sized cubes for use in ethanol beverages.

Man there's a ton of money to be made here.

WOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! (-1, Offtopic)

knapper_tech (813569) | more than 7 years ago | (#18371635)

This is what all of us are thinking. Don't bother smothering your excitement in nerd lingo. You're just getting drunk tonight and masturbationalizing to the headline ^.^

Going to Marz!

(((((^.^)

So where there's water there's a way (0, Offtopic)

gd23ka (324741) | more than 7 years ago | (#18371641)

But before we can have our Mars colony we still have to take out the
trash because I don't see why this parasitical scum http://prisonplanet.com/articles/june2006/110606At tendees.htm [prisonplanet.com] (Bilderberger'06 Attendee List) would want to let us go there.

Looking at the technical problems such as radiation protection (Mars has no magnetic
field to deflect particles btw), designing shelters and then bringing in the heavy
equipment for building all those cool domes that are on the covers of Robert Heinlein's
books and solving hell of a lot of other problems...

taking out the trash is in comparison a minor, straightforward chore.

The depth figure doesn't make sense... (3, Insightful)

isaac (2852) | more than 7 years ago | (#18371645)

FTA:

The scientists calculated that the water would form a 36-foot-deep ocean of sorts if spread over the Martian globe.

Hang on, is it enough water to cover the surface of Mars to an average depth of 36 feet, is it forming an ocean in the lowest-lying areas of Mars (Hellas?) with an average depth of 36 feet? (Or even a maximum depth of 36 feet?)

There's orders of magnitude between each of these. Does anyone have a better reference?

-Isaac

Re:The depth figure doesn't make sense... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18371685)

estimated volume of ice found = surface area of Mars x 36 feet

Re:The depth figure doesn't make sense... (1)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 7 years ago | (#18371719)

Not to mention that enormous volcano bigger than Texas... I mean, wouldn't you have to cover that up too to declare it as "surrounding the entire surface"?

Re:The depth figure doesn't make sense... (1)

MyHair (589485) | more than 7 years ago | (#18371795)

I also found it an odd measure. I'd much rather see an image of where the lakes/oceans might be if all of it was melted, perhaps with depth maps.

I assume they used the average radius of Mars and the water would cover 36 feet of a sphere with that radius.

Measurement Nitpicking (1)

Rie Beam (632299) | more than 7 years ago | (#18371655)

From Slashdot:

Space.com is reporting that the Mars Express probe's MARSIS (Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionospheric Sounding) experiment has detected and measured an enormous amount of water ice near Mars' south pole, which would be sufficient to submerge the whole planet's surface underneath approximately 10m of water on average.


10m = ~32.8ft

From the article:

"The scientists calculated that the water would form a 36-foot-deep ocean of sorts if spread over the Martian globe."


36ft = ~10.9m, closer to 11m.

Re:Measurement Nitpicking (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18371787)

WHOLLY FUCK DUDE!

get on the phone with nasa before its too late!

Metric System Nitpicking (2, Funny)

Nymz (905908) | more than 7 years ago | (#18371805)

Martians don't measure water with the metric system, you insensitive clod!

That's not nitpicking, this is nitpicking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18371825)

36ft = ~10.9m, closer to 11m.

But still inaccurate.

36 feet = 10972.8 mm, exactly.

Obligatory Planet Joke (2, Funny)

Vulcann (752521) | more than 7 years ago | (#18371659)

Isn't there a lot of water in Uranus

Sorry :D

Re:Obligatory Planet Joke (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18371699)

Theres even more water on you're South pole

Moo (-1, Troll)

Chacham (981) | more than 7 years ago | (#18371683)

So, the article links to other articles to make it's point.

The article on Mar's Ice [space.com] actually says

The researchers have collected extensive data confirming a layer of hydrogen across much of the planet within 3 feet (1 meter) of the dusty surface of both hemispheres -- well within reach of robots or humans who might venture to Mars. The scientists believe the hydrogen is strong evidence for water ice, a finding they first announced in March.
So, they found hydrogyn and assume it means water.

It talks of a later confirmation [space.com] of the theory. However, the aritcle actually states

Now Mars Express has made the first direct detection of a chemical signature of the water ice at the south pole. Officials said today they had essentially seen the vapors of water at the surface.

"You look at the picture, look at the fingerprint and say this is water ice," said Allen Moorehouse of European Space Agency. "This is the first time it's been detected on the ground. This is the first direct confirmation."
So, they found again what looks like ice, but not actual ice.

If the guys want to believe there is water there, let them as even Scientists seem to need some form of religion. Yet, they ought to stop making bogus claims. It just makes me wonder if even Scientists can retain their objectivity when things are not going their way. Trying so hard to find water to prove life is an accident (which actually proves nothing) so now they are making up data. Then again, this has about as much credence as Evolutionism. When the facts disprove the theory, change the theory, and just assume there is other evidence out there.

Where are the true objectivists?

Re:Moo (2, Insightful)

inode_buddha (576844) | more than 7 years ago | (#18371767)

"Where are the true objectivists?" If there was a true objectivist, how would you know? Even Einstein was deeply religious.

Re:Moo (1, Offtopic)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 7 years ago | (#18371843)

There's no such thing as "Evolutionism", and I, for one, resent your attempt to equate science to religion. Your inability to comprehend the theory evolution in no way discredits the science behind it.

Re:Moo (0, Offtopic)

Rakishi (759894) | more than 7 years ago | (#18371961)

Well given that he apparently, like most creationists, has absolutely no idea what evolution is (hint: its not about how life began) you really can't expect much from him.

Re:Moo (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18371849)

Poor attempt at a troll.

Please try harder in future.

Great Plot (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18371709)

This gives me an idea for a teen oriented movie . . .

Dawg, there's enough water in (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18371717)

my basement for that!

Global Warming Solved (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18371777)

Sweet zombie Jesus! Now we just need a spaceship and a crew to go fetch some giant Martian ice cubes and dump them into the ocean, thus solving the problem of global warming forever!

Water (1)

Psychotria (953670) | more than 7 years ago | (#18371835)

While I think that the idea of terraforming the planet is silly, the presence of water is good. It means that if we ever colonise the planet (in bubbles, not because we terraform it) that water is one less thing we have to worry about transporting there (or creating). Large amounts of water also means that we can probably create Oxygen, making the idea of a permenant station even more viable.

Not (5, Insightful)

djupedal (584558) | more than 7 years ago | (#18371839)

"...an enormous amount of water ice...would be sufficient to submerge the whole planet's surface underneath approximately 10m of water on average.

Did you know that if you took all of the sand from the Sahara Desert and spread it out that it would cover all of North Africa...?

Compared to the Earth, as an example, the 10m stat actually says there is very little water. Think about it.

 
  • 10 meter depth over 100% of planet surface
  • 15 meter depth over 75% of planet surface
  • 20 meter depth over 50% of planet surface
  • 40 meter depth over 25% of planet surface
  • 80 meter depth over 12.5% of planet surface


80 meters depth covering just a bit more than 10% of the entire planet. 2/3 ~ 3/4 of Earth is covered in water, with the average depth of all the major oceans sitting at 3800m. [hypertextbook.com]

Three-thousand, eight-hundred meters here at home - compared to fifteen meters for Mars. Fifteen??!! Does that sound enormous to you? If it does, I've got an appendage I'd like to show you, in private, of course, you're not going to believe.

What are the chances... (2, Interesting)

jordyhoyt (1013713) | more than 7 years ago | (#18371855)

a couple bacteria could (accidentally) make it the whole way to mars on one of our probes? Is it possible we could inadvertently populate mars with our Earth-life? How funny would it be to "discover" life on mars when we actually put it there years before on a probe to one of the more life-friendly corners of mars... just a weird though i had while reading this

Re:What are the chances... (1)

djupedal (584558) | more than 7 years ago | (#18371897)

"a couple bacteria could (accidentally) make it the whole way to mars on one of our probes?"

From the bacterium's point of view, there would be nothing 'accidental' about moving from A to B, you know that, right?

"Is it possible we could inadvertently populate mars with our Earth-life? How funny would it be to "discover" life on mars when we actually put it there years before"

Last I heard, we were doing better at killing off anything Martian we may have 'discovered', so I'd say the odds of life from our side coming out alive on the Mars side are pretty much zero.

Re:What are the chances... (5, Interesting)

Mr0bvious (968303) | more than 7 years ago | (#18371959)

According to this article http://www.loe.org/shows/segments.htm?programID=05 -P13-00024&segmentID=7 [loe.org] the chances are high... Here is an extract

BURDICK: It is surprisingly difficult. I spent some quality time with a microbiologist at the Jet Propulsion Lab out in Pasadena, and this guy works in the spacecraft assembly facility where they build, well they built the Mars Rovers that are now out there on Mars. And this guy, his job is to kind of inspect what's left over and to see well, gosh, did any microbes survive the incredibly kind of harsh decontamination process that we've devised to get rid of them? And to his great surprise they have, and he's found at least one microbe that not only thrives in the spacecraft assembly facility, but seems to have actually evolved in it. It's a tough little spore, it eats aluminum. He found it growing on the surface of one of the Mars Rovers. It forms these spores and then the spores kind of group together to form a little, what he calls an igloo. It looks kind of like a macaroon under a microscope and when he cuts it open and exposes it to the light detection techniques that NASA's developed to look for life, he finds no sign of life and then when he puts this little igloo back together, the microbe comes back to life amazingly. And I asked him, "So you know you found this thing on the Mars Rover when it was being built. Do you think it's up there on Mars right now?" And he said, "oh yes, I'm quite certain, I'm almost certain that it is." So you know, I mean, it's just indicative of how life wants to spread. Either they're moving around inadvertently with us or they're moving around intentionally with us, but they are kind of reflections of our ambition, our desire to reshape the nature around us in a way that makes us more comfortable. You know, we can kind of demonize these things, but in a way they're really kind of impressive little critters. They're sort of doing what nature permitted them to do. And in a Darwinian sense, I mean, they're winners. I mean you've got to be, even if you don't like aliens, and there is quite a number of reasons not to, I think it's worthwhile sort of stopping and at least being impressed by their ability to thrive in a world that we think that we dominate. So far as we know, Earth is the only planet with life on it and the wind is blowing outward. We may well be the dandelion in the solar system.

Interesting...

Mutant Generators (1)

Temujin_12 (832986) | more than 7 years ago | (#18371907)

Now if we could just find the large underground mutant generators, we will be able to instantaneously terraform Mars. Of course we'd need Arnold Schwarzenegger [imdb.com] to spearhead this for us, but I think he's up to the task.

Earth First! (3, Funny)

Russ Nelson (33911) | more than 7 years ago | (#18371933)

I say that we terraform Earth first. If you've ever flown over Colorado, Nevada, or Utah, you quickly realize that Those Places Ain't Habitable.

Too bad we can't ship our CO2 to Mars (4, Interesting)

Black Sabbath (118110) | more than 7 years ago | (#18371939)

Let's see. By all accounts we're producing too much CO2 on Earth, meanwhile our closest neighbour is just begging for some CO2 to trigger a bit of global warming and make the planet nice and cosy.

OK. A bit simplistic, but you can't help wondering...

It's as if... (-1, Troll)

petrus4 (213815) | more than 7 years ago | (#18371943)

...millions of atheists orgasmed simultaneously, and then were silent. ;)

This is a major step forward for those individuals who somehow believe that life evolving somewhere else proves that God doesn't exist. I might be aware that that line of reasoning is nuts, but hey...don't let me rain on your parade. ;)

So THAT's what (4, Funny)

rez_rat (1618) | more than 7 years ago | (#18371979)

So THAT's what that giant white cap on the Martian north pole is!!! Doh!!
There go all my "Martian Cocaine" investments!!
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