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New Cave Entrances Seen on Mars

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the oh-good-lord-what-is-that-arrgh dept.

Mars 110

Riding with Robots writes "The Mars Odyssey orbiter has come across what look to be openings to cavernous spaces under the surface of Mars. NASA reports the find is fueling interest in potential underground habitats and sparking searches for caves elsewhere on the Red Planet. These latest images follow other recent discoveries of intriguing places to explore. From the article: 'The find has led some to wonder if these or other caves on the planet may provide shelter to life or former life on the Red Planet. "Somewhere on Mars, caves might provide a protected niche for past or current life, or shelter for humans in the future," said Tim Titus of the U.S. Geological Survey in Flagstaff. These caves, however, likely never hosted life due to the extreme altitude of their location. "Even if life has ever existed on Mars, it may not have migrated to this height," said Cushing.'"

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Hidin' in a cave (5, Funny)

BWJones (18351) | more than 7 years ago | (#20706937)

Gee, maybe that is where Osama Bin Laden has been hiding. :-) After all, Bush had said "He could be hidin in a cave with the door open, he could be hidin in a cave with the door closed". It may also explain why Bush wants to go to Mars so bad...

Re:Hidin' in a cave (1, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 7 years ago | (#20706981)

That's too funny, modded as flamebait by some brainless neocon follower.

      Yeah BWJones, how can you be so unpatriotic? I am shocked and I think I am going to faint [time.com] . In fact, you must be a terrorist for not Supporting Our Troops and Our Great Leader Who Can Do No Wrong.

      Sympathy, guy. I laughed.

Re:Hidin' in a cave (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20707067)

A few years ago, while browsing around the library downtown, I
had to take a piss. As I entered the john a big beautiful all-American
football hero type, about twenty-five, came out of one of the booths.
I stood at the urinal looking at him out of the corner of my eye as he
washed his hands. He didn't once look at me. He was "straight" and
married - and in any case I was sure I wouldn't have a chance with
him.

As soon as he left I darted into the booth he'd vacated,
hoping there might be a lingering smell of shit and even a seat still
warm from his sturdy young ass. I found not only the smell but the
shit itself. He'd forgotten to flush. And what a treasure he had left
behind. Three or four beautiful specimens floated in the bowl. It
apparently had been a fairly dry, constipated shit, for all were fat,
stiff, and ruggedly textured. The real prize was a great feast of turd
- a nine inch gastrointestinal triumph as thick as a man's wrist.

I knelt before the bowl, inhaling the rich brown fragrance and
wondered if I should obey the impulse building up inside me. I'd
always been a heavy rimmer and had lapped up more than one little
clump of shit, but that had been just an inevitable part of eating ass
and not an end in itself. Of course I'd had jerk-off fantasies of
devouring great loads of it (what rimmer hasn't), but I had never done
it. Now, here I was, confronted with the most beautiful five-pound
turd I'd ever feasted my eyes on, a sausage fit to star in any fantasy
and one I knew to have been hatched from the asshole of the world's
handsomest young stud.

Why not? I plucked it from the bowl, holding it with both
hands to keep it from breaking. I lifted it to my nose. It smelled
like rich, ripe limburger (horrid, but thrilling), yet had the
consistency of cheddar. What is cheese anyway but milk turning to shit
without the benefit of a digestive tract?

I gave it a lick and found that it tasted better then it
smelled. I've found since then that shit nearly almost does.

I hesitated no longer. I shoved the fucking thing as far into
my mouth as I could get it and sucked on it like a big brown cock,
beating my meat like a madman. I wanted to completely engulf it and
bit off a large chunk, flooding my mouth with the intense, bittersweet
flavor. To my delight I found that while the water in the bowl had
chilled the outside of the turd, it was still warm inside. As I chewed
I discovered that it was filled with hard little bits of something I
soon identified as peanuts. He hadn't chewed them carefully and they'd
passed through his body virtually unchanged. I ate it greedily,
sending lump after peanutty lump sliding scratchily down my throat. My
only regret was the donor of this feast wasn't there to wash it down
with his piss.

I soon reached a terrific climax. I caught my cum in the
cupped palm of my hand and drank it down. Believe me, there is no more
delightful combination of flavors than the hot sweetness of cum with
the rich bitterness of shit.

Afterwards I was sorry that I hadn't made it last longer. But
then I realized that I still had a lot of fun in store for me. There
was still a clutch of virile turds left in the bowl. I tenderly fished
them out, rolled them into my handkerchief, and stashed them in my
briefcase. In the week to come I found all kinds of ways to eat the
shit without bolting it right down. Once eaten it's gone forever
unless you want to filch it third hand out of your own asshole. Not an
unreasonable recourse in moments of desperation or simple boredom.

I stored the turds in the refrigerator when I was not using
them but within a week they were all gone. The last one I held in my
mouth without chewing, letting it slowly dissolve. I had liquid shit
trickling down my throat for nearly four hours. I must have had six
orgasms in the process.

I often think of that lovely young guy dropping solid gold out
of his sweet, pink asshole every day, never knowing what joy it could,
and at least once did, bring to a grateful shiteater.

Re:Hidin' in a cave (-1, Offtopic)

promotheus (1002873) | more than 7 years ago | (#20707259)

seriously mods, can you ban people who post those things? its just spam and since i keep all comments seen on so i can see all viewpoints on certain issues, that also mean that i have to look at that crap. on a more serious note, i thought it was pretty obvious that mars would have caves too but i guess im just not getting the full importance of this, could someone explain it?

Re:Hidin' in a cave (2, Funny)

stonedcat (80201) | more than 7 years ago | (#20709221)

You must be new here.

Re:Hidin' in a cave (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20707083)

Or maybe, instead a of "lol teyhre so stopid" response, you could have contributed something worthwhile to the discussion.

And maybe, just maybe, it was modded flamebait because it WAS flamebait? A lot of people are just sick and tired of the endless prattling on of infantile insults lobbed from democrats to republicans (AND VICE VERSA). Just insulting (Generic Political Figure) and expecting a laugh doesn't work. And "Lil' Bush" is getting lousy ratings as a result (And yes, I'll happily admit that the show insults democrats, and foreign politicians too. It's just not funny.)

Re:Hidin' in a cave (1, Informative)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 7 years ago | (#20707333)

you could have contributed something worthwhile to the discussion.

      I did. I contributed a link to a Time article. What are YOU contributing, besides banter?

Re:Hidin' in a cave (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20707089)

OMG THE MOD MUST BE A CONSERVATIVE BECASUE HE MADE A JOKE ABOUT OSSAM BEING IN A CAVE FROM MARS AND IT'S FUNNY BUT IT GOT MODDED DOWN!! Please, these jokes are tired, old, and nonconstructive. We don't need to mention Bush in every single article, as even us Green Party members get tired of hearing Bush jokes.

Re:Hidin' in a cave (1, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 7 years ago | (#20707277)

We don't need to mention Bush in every single article

      Are we talking about the same Bush trying to pass a law exonerating [liveleak.com] himself from war crimes? That Bush? I think ALL of you Americans need to talk more about this bastard until he is impeached or imprisoned.
      But because you Americans ARE PUSSIES, you aren't going to DO anything. I can't wait until they come for you, friend. Fortunately I live FAR away.

Re:Hidin' in a cave (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20707427)

Fortunately I live FAR away.

Bush & his neocon cronies are destroying the whole planet, not just his little kingdom.

Re:Hidin' in a cave (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20707373)

Screw you, asshole. I'm a neocon and I thought it was hillarious!

Re:Hidin' in a cave (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#20707045)

He's not hiding. In fact, he went to visit Bush, last time he was in Australia [youtube.com] .

Re:Hidin' in a cave (1)

Duhavid (677874) | more than 7 years ago | (#20707057)

Naw, Osama is not here.

But if you look at that cave over there
Yea, that one, that is me, waving, do
you see it?

Re:Hidin' in a cave (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20707901)

This actually where Algore wants the great unwashed (Global Warming Skeptics) to go live. Wait... He wants everyone to live in a cave and eat vegetables.

Re:Hidin' in a cave (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20708731)

It's also the undisclosed location where Cheney goes to hide. That cave is where the two of them planned 9/11.

If Tim Titus was an ecologist (1)

traveller604 (961720) | more than 7 years ago | (#20709561)

He would have used the word habitat instead of niche. The small things make all the difference..

Re:Hidin' in a cave (1)

VagaStorm (691999) | more than 7 years ago | (#20709639)

Nah, my bet is on dune worms.... Or that huge worm Han and Leia landed in in The Empire Strikes back :p

Re:Hidin' in a cave (1)

aunticrist (952359) | more than 7 years ago | (#20710169)

Nah, that's where they'd hidden their stash of Q-36 Space Modulatooors. Simply a place for all of those alien WMDs y'see.

What would the Marsians say? (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 7 years ago | (#20711581)

Stop sending your trash to our planet!

Headlights? (1)

Nirvelli (851945) | more than 7 years ago | (#20712883)

Did anybody remember to put headlights on that thing?

Crap. (1, Funny)

Roadkills-R-Us (122219) | more than 7 years ago | (#20706975)

I was *sure* we'd camoflaged our front door better than that!

Get rid of space travel. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20707117)

There is nothing interesting in space. Let's stop having NASA and other space travel. And we don't need satellites because we have cable and telephone. Let's stop space exploration before one more human life is lost exploring into nothingness!

Anonymous Coward Sig 2.0:
--
Vote Dennis Kucinich

Caves of Mars (3, Funny)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 7 years ago | (#20707033)

We prefer to say "Caves of Barsoom". kthx

Re:Caves of Mars (1)

juniorbird (74686) | more than 7 years ago | (#20708227)

Where else would the natives hide the buggalo?

Obligatory Cartoon Reference (1)

Digydude (443330) | more than 7 years ago | (#20708721)

"Noseward Hoe!"

Re:Caves of Mars (1)

DoctorPepper (92269) | more than 7 years ago | (#20710405)

John?... John Carter, is that you???

There better be something in that cave (4, Funny)

Nymz (905908) | more than 7 years ago | (#20707061)

Otherwise how do we justify honoring the Martians with their own Slashdot Topic Icon.
  • Pluto was denied (because it's too small, a dwarf planet)
  • Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, & Neptune were denied (for not being terrestrial enough)
  • Venus was denied (she's female)
  • Earth was denied (no intelligent life?)

Why who else would be in the cave but OBL? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20707087)

That's why Bush wants to go to Mars. It will no longer be the war on Terra.

If we don't fight them there, we'll have to fight them here.

~ Lorena (too lazy to make an account today)

Re:There better be something in that cave (5, Funny)

Ambiguous Puzuma (1134017) | more than 7 years ago | (#20707341)

Poor Mercury didn't even make it onto the "denied" list...

Re:There better be something in that cave (1)

sadangel (702907) | more than 7 years ago | (#20714621)

With the new reclassification of planets opened up by Pluto being dropped from the list Mercury is now officially classified as the sun's moon.

Re: Uranus (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20708359)

Dude, Uranus wasn't denied. It has a HUGE cavern!

I saw it just the other day, and I think I'm going to be scarred for life because of it...

They look like puckered assholes (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20707071)

JUST LIKE YOUR MOM LOL

Re:They look like puckered assholes (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20708567)

no yuo

B4 (1)

synonymous (707504) | more than 7 years ago | (#20707137)

Should be a good idea to maybe take care of our lifespans being not much longer than a mosquito in cosmic terms first. Gotta fix all the broken shit here unless the aliens like you enough to take you away.

Re:B4 (1)

TheDarkener (198348) | more than 7 years ago | (#20707469)

You're missing the point entirely. We are the cosmos.

Re:B4 (1)

synonymous (707504) | more than 7 years ago | (#20707683)

Perhaps with that certainty you could then elaborate.

Re:B4 (2, Funny)

TheDarkener (198348) | more than 7 years ago | (#20707693)

Grasshopper, YOU must elaborate.

Re:B4 (1)

synonymous (707504) | more than 7 years ago | (#20707937)

OK,
Exploring caves on mars is somehow pointless because we are the entire cosmos?
The fact that I see myself as but a fraction of many pieces of puzzle, and I'm missing point as in yours?
I suppose youd be right that I would need to explain, but one who sees themself as all, certainly has me voided in universe.
You have taken me straight to the confrontation that cannot be avoided. Become one or struggle. Unfortunately for you, I have fear that your spirit is bottled. I hear it in your bass playing. I could help, but you have no feet of your own. Erm, sorry, you are everything and need nothing.
Does that help? Oops, I did it again.

Re:B4 (1)

TheDarkener (198348) | more than 7 years ago | (#20712147)

Exploring caves on mars is somehow pointless

Your quote, not mine. =)

Should be a good idea to maybe take care of our lifespans being not much longer than a mosquito in cosmic terms

Again, your quote, not mine. =)

My point has to do with your context of "lifespans". What you see with your two eyes does not constitute finality with respect to who we are. Time is a factor we don't look past, but we continue to learn, grow and evolve through the generations who built our foundational knowledge. Exploring caves on Mars and possibly finding history of life (let alone the minute possibility of civilization) will be a mythbuster for a lot of what people believe today (think religion).

"If I have seen further it is by standing on ye shoulders of Giants." -Isaac Newton

I know I was overly vague in my original reply. I felt it was appropriate.

Old news, from APRIL 2! (4, Informative)

Tmack (593755) | more than 7 years ago | (#20707147)

Why is this being reported just now by discovery? Are they competing with /. on who can post the oldest articles and get away with calling it news? Really, this was posted on space.com back in APRIL!!!

See Here [space.com]

Blah

Tm

Re:Old news, from APRIL 2! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20707275)

less tard please.

Re:Old news, from APRIL 2! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20707283)

We all thought it was an April Fools joke.

Re:Old news, from APRIL 2! (2, Insightful)

freeweed (309734) | more than 7 years ago | (#20707521)

You know, the Internet isn't a race.

Who the hell cares if the news is "old"? It's INTERESTING, I haven't read it before, and quite frankly why are you bothering to post if it's such "old" news?

Besides, 5 months is only "old" if you're a teenager. So get off my damn lawn and stop posting pointless comments complaining about something you can easily just NOT CLICK ON IF IT DOES NOT INTERST YOU.

Fuck, Slashdot is full of whiners the past couple of years.

Re:Old news, from APRIL 2! (2, Funny)

Plutonite (999141) | more than 7 years ago | (#20709301)

So get off my damn lawn and stop posting pointless comments complaining
It is our duty as Helpful People to help make slashdot more interesting, and less ridiculous, by pointing these things out.

about something you can easily just NOT CLICK ON IF IT DOES NOT INTERST YOU.
You spelled interest wrong.

Fuck, Slashdot is full of whiners the past couple of years.
Uh-oh. Please disregard my above grammar nazism :)

Re:Old news, from APRIL 2! (1)

westyx (95706) | more than 7 years ago | (#20709421)

You're absolutely wrong. Nothing much has changed at all.

Re:Old news, from APRIL 2! (5, Informative)

x1n933k (966581) | more than 7 years ago | (#20707827)

Actually this is different. If we look at NASA's site:

09.21.07 - Odyssey Finds Possible Cave Skylights on Mars NASA's Mars Odyssey spacecraft has discovered entrances to seven possible caves on the slopes of a Martian volcano.

Sure, both reports mention a volcano's but there's no way NASA would report the same thing twice, right?

[J]

Re:Old news, from APRIL 2! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20710891)

Yeah, April, that would have been around the time I submitted this myself as was *choke* rejected... and now I can't even complain about Taco & crew being silly, cos it's the whole community rejecting my wording.

No, no, I'm fine. Leave me alone, can't you? Bastards...

(I'mjokingofcourse)

one million years BC on Mars, cave Martians (1)

edwardpickman (965122) | more than 7 years ago | (#20707159)

Green Martian, antenae and a fur bikini. Need I say more?

slow dow! (1)

downix (84795) | more than 7 years ago | (#20707193)

we've all seen 'ghosts of mars', run away!

Re:slow dow! (2, Funny)

geoffrobinson (109879) | more than 7 years ago | (#20707287)

And by "all" you mean "very few", right?

Mars robots (4, Insightful)

Tribbin (565963) | more than 7 years ago | (#20707213)

Will they steer for the caves?

That was the first question on my mind.

Re:Mars robots (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 7 years ago | (#20707961)

Will they steer for the caves?

Sorry. Both rovers are a long way from these caves. At best, the Opportunity rover could travel another 10km or so, while Spirit could perhaps manage another kilometre.

Re:Mars robots (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20708089)

They'd be fools to just wander in without knowing what lurks below. At the very least NASA should form a standard adventuring party with a warrior, a priest, a rogue and wizard.

Re:Mars robots (5, Informative)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 7 years ago | (#20708177)

Will they steer for the caves?

Even if they were in range (they're not), there are two other problems. First, being solar powered, they couldn't go into the caves because they would have no power to get out if they got stuck or lost. Second, there would be no usable radio communication inside a cave because the walls block the waves.

Seems what is needed is some kind of expendable micro-bot that launches from a bigger bot.
     

Re:Mars robots (1)

Lije Baley (88936) | more than 7 years ago | (#20708279)

Or maybe some kind of unstoppable nuclear-powered bot. No, wait, if it accidentally landed on earth there could be big trouble...and since these days our presidents and bionic people are all women, we'd have no way to save ourselves.

Dune! (1)

codepunk (167897) | more than 7 years ago | (#20707253)

It's a worm hole....hmmm now where do we plant the thumper to lure them out.

wormsign (1)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 7 years ago | (#20707399)

It's a worm hole....hmmm now where do we plant the thumper to lure them out.
Shaitan lives!

There is good reason to get to those caves. (5, Informative)

MrCopilot (871878) | more than 7 years ago | (#20707269)

http://www.highmars.org/niac/niac01.html [highmars.org]

Project Objectives:

The primary objective of this feasibility demonstration is to show that relatively simple, easily-deployable subsurface habitats are constructible in caves, lavatubes, and other subsurface voids. Further, we intend to demonstrate that they are suitable to sustain small animals, plants, and ultimately humans in an otherwise hostile environment.

Re:There is good reason to get to those caves. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20708401)

I've seen life in caves in Afghanistan.

It would likely be easier on Mars.

-jp

Re:There is good reason to get to those caves. (1)

OriginalArlen (726444) | more than 7 years ago | (#20714431)

to show that relatively simple, easily-deployable subsurface habitats are constructible in caves, lavatubes, and other subsurface voids.

Call me back when you've got a simple, easily-deployable way of getting to the surface of Mars.

cave = life? (1)

dgun (1056422) | more than 7 years ago | (#20707307)

That is the wildest non sequitur speculation I have heard since I turned off Nancy Grace. Maybe we could send her to a Martian cave. Or me. One of us has to go.

(Did I just make accusations of a non sequitur fallacy while mentioning Nancy Grace in a topic about Martian caves?)

Re:cave = life? (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 7 years ago | (#20707631)

Well, the non-sequitur Bush-bashing made first post, so in that context, your remark seems perfectly cromulent to me.

Re:cave = life? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20708099)

Well, the non-sequitur Bush-bashing made first post, so in that context, your remark seems perfectly cromulent to me.
Bush-bashing is never non sequitur.

the great march of mankind (4, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 7 years ago | (#20707335)

from the caves... to the fields... to the huts... to the cities... to the castles... to the flatirons... to the railroads... to the cars... to the airplanes... to the space ships... to the moon... to mars...

to the caves?

Re:the great march of mankind (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20707389)

from the caves... to the fields... to the huts... to the cities... to the castles... to the flatirons... to the railroads... to the cars... to the airplanes... to the space ships... to the moon... to mars...

to the caves?
Yes, and all that and more, just to get her to cave in.

Re:the great march of mankind (1)

JeanBaptiste (537955) | more than 7 years ago | (#20708427)

... to the fields .... to the huts .... to the cities ...

lather, rinse, repeat.

Re:the great march of mankind (1)

E++99 (880734) | more than 7 years ago | (#20711477)

Except that the "cavemen" actually lived primarily in tents.

Obviously caves preserve remains a lot better than tents, though.

New Geico Commercial (1)

avirrey (972127) | more than 7 years ago | (#20707369)

So easy a Martian Cave Man could do it!

--
X's and O's for all my foes.

Futurama was right (4, Funny)

KefkaTheMad (967573) | more than 7 years ago | (#20707381)

Zapp: "The great stone face of Mars. Hmm, the only known entrance to the marsian reservation."
Leela: "What about the great stone ass of Mars?"
Zapp: "Well, yeah. But it's way on the other side of the planet."

Science spin-doctors ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20707441)

Ah yes, cave provide shelter from the low atmospheric pressure on Mars. (Eyes roll.)

Maybe these spin-doctors should stop before all scientists lose credibility in the public's eye. I know that I have stopped listening to NASA press releases after hearing that evidence water has been discovered on Mars for the Nth time. Why? Because it's always the same old agency trying to grab headlines with the same old news and a lot of the evidence is dodgy anyway.

They must know... (1)

pchoppin (864344) | more than 7 years ago | (#20707457)

We're spying on them... They must only come out when we're not looking. Has anyone seen them outside the caves??

my question is (1)

overcaffein8d (1101951) | more than 7 years ago | (#20707527)

is there a way we can explore the caves with robots? i doubt the signal would go through... or would it? it would be interesting to see what's inside.

Don't see why not. (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#20707617)

Well, you could certainly do it with robots; just probably not the robots that we have here right now.

If you were putting together a mission specifically to explore the caves, you'd probably design something that could either trail an umbilical behind itself, leading to a base station near the cave entrance which would have an uplink transceiver and solar panels for power, or you'd drop radio relays inside the cave mouth (but then you'd have to worry about how to get power to drive the robot around inside the caves, which is hard unless you want to use an RTG).

I don't know if anyone's done much work with rovers that trail umbilicals, so there might be a lot of testing required to get it right (how do you make sure that it can roll the umbilical up, not get it tangled around stuff, maybe even cut and reattach it in an emergency if a rock falls on it or something), but it's fundamentally an engineering problem, certainly not outside our capabilities.

I think the biggest trick would be getting a fairly large 'base station' with a lot of solar panels close enough to the cave mouth so that the rover wouldn't waste a lot of umbilical distance getting to the cave, but without collapsing or damaging the cave in any way.

Re:Don't see why not. (1)

overcaffein8d (1101951) | more than 7 years ago | (#20707705)

hmm, i never thought of that. though i bet it would kind of suck if it got stuck in the cave with no battery life!... someone would have to get fired for that one

Re:Don't see why not. (1, Interesting)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 7 years ago | (#20708031)

I think it would be interesting to look inside these caves but I don't think we are going to find life on Mars. My reasoning is that life on Earth is absolutely pervasive. It is in every cubic centimetre of ocean and every square centimetre of the Arctic and Antarctic, and all of our deserts.

Maybe Earth life could get the kind of toehold on Mars which we postulate for Mars life, but if Mars had native life it would be everywhere. Perhaps not out in the sun but certainly under each and every rock.

The effect on micro climates would be obvious to our sensors. Instead all we see is normal energy flow, the sun rises, heats up the sand, sun goes down, sand radiates into space.

Re:Don't see why not. (2, Interesting)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#20713673)

I think it would be interesting to look inside these caves but I don't think we are going to find life on Mars. My reasoning is that life on Earth is absolutely pervasive. It is in every cubic centimetre of ocean and every square centimetre of the Arctic and Antarctic, and all of our deserts.

Maybe Earth life could get the kind of toehold on Mars which we postulate for Mars life, but if Mars had native life it would be everywhere. Perhaps not out in the sun but certainly under each and every rock.

The effect on micro climates would be obvious to our sensors. Instead all we see is normal energy flow, the sun rises, heats up the sand, sun goes down, sand radiates into space.
I don't disagree with you at all. I think the chance of finding life there is spectacularly slim. This is why I think the goal of looking for life should be secondary to other research aims. Exploring the caves seems like a worthy goal even aside from the life issue. They could be important in possible human settlements on the planet, both as shelter and possible sources of exploitable resources.

A large amount of the mass budget for any human habitation on Mars, whether temporary or permanent, would probably be the habitation modules itself. If there are caves with single entrances that can be closed off and pressurized (or filled with water, or even oxygen at low pressure), it seems like that would be pretty handy.

But I think it's a bad idea to sell the public on Mars exploration as a 'search for life.' What do you do when it becomes more and more clear that there isn't any? The funding will evaporate and there goes your whole program.

Caves? Mars? (1)

ElephanTS (624421) | more than 7 years ago | (#20707599)

The ever widening search for Bin Laden moves on.

They've also found a dialysis machine and beard dye.

old news (0, Offtopic)

artifex2004 (766107) | more than 7 years ago | (#20707627)

These were mentioned here [space.com] in April, and also in June [space.com] , as mentioned on slashdot in this article [slashdot.org] .

I think too much in metaphors (1)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 7 years ago | (#20707641)

So a bloke comes up to me and says,"Hey, how much is auto insurance? Only to find out he doesn't have a car. He has a robotic rover."

Don't look! Can't you hear the strange music? (1)

stoicio (710327) | more than 7 years ago | (#20707719)

Don't go in there! That's where the giant spiders live!
If you make them mad it's game over for all of us!

Look! Wasn't that a green jet of gas coming form the surface of mars?

I guess the chances of anyting living on mars are maybe...a million to one.

Re:Don't look! Can't you hear the strange music? (2, Funny)

Basehart (633304) | more than 7 years ago | (#20707777)

The edges do look as if they were dug away by a machine of some kind. And is it just a coincidence that most UFO's are circular objects, albeit not as wide as these holes are. Maybe the mother ships use these ports and there are smaller ones for the scouting ships. Either way, you wouldn't catch me going down into one of these on my own.

Re:Don't look! Can't you hear the strange music? (1)

darkhitman (939662) | more than 7 years ago | (#20711643)

Strange music? Yeah.
Tekeli-li, tekeli-li
It's those damn blasphemous flutes again!

Mine? (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 7 years ago | (#20707825)

Looks like a mine shaft to me. Gold? Naquata? Latinum? Coal? Oil?

Re:Mine? (1)

zugurudumba (1009301) | more than 7 years ago | (#20709137)

Naquadah.

Re:Mine? (1)

agw (6387) | more than 7 years ago | (#20709861)

Mine shafts on Mars?

We must not allow a mine shaft gap!

Dust-free caves on Mars? (5, Interesting)

eskayp (597995) | more than 7 years ago | (#20707943)

Not being a rocket scientist there is something I don't understand:
Why aren't the Martian caves filled with dust accumulated from the seasonal storms?
Are gases or vapors from within clearing the cave entries of dust?
( We would expect to see trails of ejecta. )
Are the caves so new or geologically young that they have not yet drifted full?
Are the caves at elevations above most of the Martian dust storms?
Layman's questions looking for non-tinfoil-hat expert answers.

Re:Dust-free caves on Mars? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20708489)

Immigrants sweep them out daily for less than local labor would charge.

Why not have a tidy cave, if the price is right?

Re:Dust-free caves on Mars? (2, Informative)

smellsofbikes (890263) | more than 7 years ago | (#20713457)

Likely for the same reasons that terrestrial caves aren't all filled, even though we have a lot more erosive, mass-wasting, and probably as much aeolian redistribution (which is to say: water, landslides, and duststorms.) Caves usually form from water flowing downhill, dissolving out the underlying rock, and eventually escaping, which means a lot of caves go upwards from where the entrance is. If the cave doesn't have much or any wind blowing through it -- if it's dead-end -- there's no reason for wind to blow into it. The entrance will fill, but the rest of the cave has very little air communication with the outside. The primary air exchange system in caves is daily/seasonal heating/cooling, which leads to expansion/expulsion and contraction/indraw of air. Four meters inside the cave, there could be a hurricane outside and you'd never know it. Lots, perhaps most, caves have the entrances mostly filled with debris, but it's mostly from material sliding down and building up a pile of junk just under the overhanging lip of the top of the cave entrance. I'd expect something similar, but much more slow, to be happening on Mars, since there is very little, if any, water-based erosion and no tectonic activity to raise mountain slopes above the angle of repose.

Your rover is at the entrance to a cave.... (5, Funny)

COMICAGOGO (1055066) | more than 7 years ago | (#20708185)

To your right is a torch...
To your left is another passage....
In front of you is a Martian Cave Troll...

What do you do?

      Use Mineral Sampling Device.

On what?

      troll

Unknown command: troll

The troll hits you for 12 damage, you are dead.

Re:Your rover is at the entrance to a cave.... (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 7 years ago | (#20708327)

...it is pitch black...you are in danger of being eaten by a grue...

Re:Your rover is at the entrance to a cave.... (1)

Daimanta (1140543) | more than 7 years ago | (#20710631)

This comment is modded to an outrageous level. Please mod it -12, troll.

I have a bad feeling about this... (1)

metrometro (1092237) | more than 7 years ago | (#20708543)

This is no cave.

Re:I have a bad feeling about this... (1)

Victor13d (1159263) | more than 7 years ago | (#20712793)

Danger will Robinson Danger even if this what if this is the entry to an alien city hidden below mars.

some kind of joke? (3, Funny)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 7 years ago | (#20708603)

Is this some kind of joke? They vaguely say it could be a good underground habitat? FOR WHAT?! Martian cave rats? Everyone agrees nothing large enough to see with the naked eye lives on Mars, let alone a living "habitat" of bacteria, which I also don't think is the correct use of the word. Or maybe they mean for us to live in? Yeah we'll get to Mars using super advanced technology and then live in a cave? More like a metal tent thing, I mean come on, watch some movies lol. I suppose you could build the tent in the cave though but still they say "habitat" like astronauts will just be sitting on logs around a campfire and fishing inside the cave. This is complete made up speculation by people who don't know what they're talking about. As if we'd go all the way there and rely on having to find a cave to withstand the wind storms otherwise they all die and the mission fails. That's like 100000x the risk Nasa would ever take. Not to mention the apparent risk of martian cave rats of course.

Yo0 Fail It (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20708899)

future. Even of the founders 0f won't vote in hand...don't

So that's where Bin Laden got to... (0, Redundant)

Arimus (198136) | more than 7 years ago | (#20709235)

Damn, and after all the time invading Afghanistan and searching Tora Borra for signs of Bin Laden he's headed off to Mars.

How long until the USAF are tasked with coming up with a way of bombing the crap out of those caves on the off-chance Osma is hiding out there ;)

Send Arnie (1)

fistynuts (457323) | more than 7 years ago | (#20709907)

He can start the nuclear reactor.

First thought; POWER (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 7 years ago | (#20709943)

This is beside an old volcano. It is possible that there is enough heat from that to run geo-thermal generators. If so, then cheap and easy power becomes available which makes colonization quit a bit cheaper. For all those that want nukes, keep in mind that you might have 30 years worth. With this approach, it becomes very possible to create a self-sufficient colony. And as to the 100% solar proponents, well, hopefully, we have dispelled that idea in light of the recent storm.

I suppose a rover would be safe? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20715319)

You'd think we tasty humans would know better than poking our noses into caves on alien planets... [wikipedia.org]
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