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View Poll Results: What will Phoenix find?
Water not found 9 13.85%
Water found, no evidence of life 32 49.23%
Water found, evidence of life 15 23.08%
Trout and/or Crash and Burn 9 13.85%
Voters: 65. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-21-2012, 11:30 AM   #151
JediKooter
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While I think it would be awesome if they did find evidence of some kind of life (any kind), I have a feeling it's going to be, "Based on our samples, we can conclude that at one time Mars did have an atmosphere that could support life".

I'm pessimistically optimistic that it will be earth shaking though.
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Old 11-21-2012, 11:45 AM   #152
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I hope they didn't find our waystation for the imminent invas... er, visit.

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Old 11-21-2012, 10:48 PM   #153
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It would be a downer if it was only just a discovery of an element not thought to previously exist on Mars ...

Mars Discovery: NASA touts Curiosity data that points to historic discovery.
Quote:
What we do know is that the data comes from a soil sample analyzed by the rover's Sample Analysis at Mars instrument, an on-board lab known as SAM, so if the data holds up to further testing it appears possible, and perhaps likely, that it is a discovery of an element on Mars previously thought not to exist on the Red Planet.

Of course, the reason that NASA is keeping the potential find (mostly) under wraps is because it may turn out to be nothing but a false alarm, something that's happened before to the mission. NPR explains:

So why doesn't Grotzinger want to share his exciting news? The main reason is caution. Grotzinger and his team were almost stung once before. When SAM analyzed an air sample, it looked like there was methane in it, and at least here on Earth, some methane comes from living organisms. But Grotzinger says they held up announcing the finding because they wanted to be sure they were measuring Martian air, and not air brought along from the rover's launchpad at Cape Canaveral.
"We knew from the very beginning that we had this risk of having brought air from Florida. And we needed to diminish it and then make the measurement again," he says. And when they made the measurement again, the signs of methane disappeared.
But the simple fact Grotzinger is willing to talk so openly (and excitedly) about the possible discovery in light of the past let downs would seem to suggest he has a good deal of confidence that it will hold up to further testing.
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Old 11-21-2012, 11:06 PM   #154
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It would be a downer if it was only just a discovery of an element not thought to previously exist on Mars ...

Mars Discovery: NASA touts Curiosity data that points to historic discovery.

You mean like Carbon?
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Old 11-21-2012, 11:11 PM   #155
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You mean like Carbon?

See #150. Its a Yawner.
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Old 11-30-2012, 09:10 PM   #156
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Oh well ... yawn.

Mars Discovery: Curiosity Rover's 'Earth-Shaking' Find Downplayed By NASA
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Rumors of a big discovery began swirling earlier this month, after an NPR story quoted Curiosity chief scientist John Grotzinger as saying that the rover's Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument had recently gathered data "for the history books."

SAM is capable of identifying organic compounds, the carbon-containing building blocks of life as we know it. So many people assumed that Curiosity had detected organic compounds in the Martian soil.

But that's not the case, officials said.

"Rumors and speculation that there are major new findings from the mission at this early stage are incorrect," officials at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif., which manages Curiosity's mission, wrote in a mission update today. "At this point in the mission, the instruments on the rover have not detected any definitive evidence of Martian organics."

Don't expect a bombshell announcement.
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Old 11-30-2012, 09:46 PM   #157
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*sigh*
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Old 12-03-2012, 08:18 PM   #158
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Looking like its water and "other organics":

Organics On Mars: Curiosity Rover Finds Evidence Of Organic Compounds On Red Planet
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Old 12-03-2012, 10:44 PM   #159
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According to the SI scale, its a confirmed yawner.
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Old 12-03-2012, 10:55 PM   #160
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They've obviously been told to cover up what they've really found.
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Old 12-04-2012, 02:15 PM   #161
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According to the SI scale, its a confirmed yawner.

I was hoping I was wrong

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Old 12-04-2012, 07:04 PM   #162
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Mars Rover Discovery Hype a Big Misunderstanding - Yahoo! News

"Grotzinger, a geologist at Caltech in Pasadena, said he meant to convey the excitement his team felt to see SAM — a mobile chemistry lab that takes up more than half of Curiosity's science payload by weight — working according to plan on Mars. [Organic Compounds On Mars - Did Curiosity Bring it? | Video]

He was surprised by the way his words rocketed around the Internet.
"

Um, dude, part of the mission is to see if Mars could support some kind of life and you're surprised that people got the wrong message with the way you worded your statement?
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Old 12-05-2012, 01:03 PM   #163
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That's a pretty massive case of backtrack fail.

NASA's credibility about statements like these was already hanging by a thread, so I suppose I only have myself to blame for getting excited in the first place. It's such a sad thing, though, to have to be jaded about statements from one of our nation's premiere science institutions.

Thanks, NASA, for making me feel all sad and emotions and stuff.
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Old 12-05-2012, 01:30 PM   #164
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It's like when your wife or girlfriend says she has something really really exciting to tell you, but, it has to wait until she gets home. When she finally gets home, she says that one of her friends is getting married. Yea......sorry I'm not sharing the same 'excitement' as you there, cupcake.
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Old 12-05-2012, 01:47 PM   #165
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Excellent analogy!
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Old 12-15-2012, 07:12 AM   #166
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Somewhat related. Its pretty cool. Also check out the "tumbling Toutatis" video in the middle of the article.

New milestone for China: Probe snaps close-ups of asteroid Toutatis - Cosmic Log
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China's official news agency is reporting that the country's Chang'e 2 deep-space probe made an amazing flyby of the asteroid Toutatis this week, snapping a series of pictures as it passed just 2 miles away. The achievement signals China's entry into yet another exclusive space club.
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Old 03-12-2013, 07:44 PM   #167
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A very interesting find from Curiosity reported today:

Life On Mars Evidence? NASA's Curiosity Rover Finds Essential Ingredients In Ancient Rock Sample

My favorite part of the article is the tweet from "Curiosity"
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Old 03-13-2013, 01:00 AM   #168
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Having read this article, I'm no longer sure just how excited I should be about what Curiosity might find. The Fermi Paradox, viewed in the context of the article, would seem to suggest that any finding of life, past or present, on Mars could have threatening implications for our long-term future. Here's the key part of the interview:

Robin Hanson, a research associate at the Future of Humanity Institute, says there must be something about the universe, or about life itself, that stops planets from generating galaxy-colonising civilisations. There must be a ‘great filter’, he says, an insurmountable barrier that sits somewhere on the line between dead matter and cosmic transcendence.

Before coming to Oxford, I had lunch with Hanson in Washington DC. He explained to me that the filter could be any number of things, or a combination of them. It could be that life itself is scarce, or it could be that microbes seldom stumble onto sexual reproduction. Single-celled organisms could be common in the universe, but Cambrian explosions rare. That, or maybe Tsiolkovsky misjudged human destiny. Maybe he underestimated the difficulty of interstellar travel. Or maybe technologically advanced civilisations choose not to expand into the galaxy, or do so invisibly, for reasons we do not yet understand. Or maybe, something more sinister is going on. Maybe quick extinction is the destiny of all intelligent life.

Humanity has already slipped through a number of these potential filters, but not all of them. Some lie ahead of us in the gauntlet of time. The identity of the filter is less important to Bostrom than its timing, its position in our past or in our future. For if it lies in our future, there could be an extinction risk waiting for us that we cannot anticipate, or to which anticipation makes no difference. There could be an inevitable technological development that renders intelligent life self-annihilating, or some periodic, catastrophic event in nature that empirical science cannot predict.

That’s why Bostrom hopes the Curiosity rover fails. ‘Any discovery of life that didn’t originate on Earth makes it less likely the great filter is in our past, and more likely it’s in our future,’ he told me. If life is a cosmic fluke, then we’ve already beaten the odds, and our future is undetermined — the galaxy is there for the taking. If we discover that life arises everywhere, we lose a prime suspect in our hunt for the great filter. The more advanced life we find, the worse the implications. If Curiosity spots a vertebrate fossil embedded in Martian rock, it would mean that a Cambrian explosion occurred twice in the same solar system. It would give us reason to suspect that nature is very good at knitting atoms into complex animal life, but very bad at nurturing star-hopping civilisations. It would make it less likely that humans have already slipped through the trap whose jaws keep our skies lifeless. It would be an omen.
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Old 03-13-2013, 01:03 AM   #169
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Interesting viewpoint - I guess I can say I've never thought of it in that way before.
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Old 03-21-2013, 11:52 PM   #170
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Quite interesting. Tho it does rely on a sample size of 1/2 - I think that's the mistake in the thinking there.

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Old 03-21-2013, 11:55 PM   #171
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Quite interesting. Tho it does rely on a sample size of 1/2 - I think that's the mistake in the thinking there.

SI

I'm not sure that's the mistake in the thinking - more of a mistake in the thinking would be that it would be confined to one solar system I would think.
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Old 03-22-2013, 12:03 AM   #172
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Bad ass photos here.....

NASA - Panorama From NASA Mars Rover Shows Mount Sharp
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Old 03-22-2013, 12:04 AM   #173
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I was meaning the sample size of 2 planets in 1 solar system. What's to say that there are a lot of solar systems out there are similar to ours? It could be that your solar system has to be calibrated just right (1 in 1B or whatnot) to support planets with life.

Or it could be that there are quite a few interstellar species out there and they don't visit backwoods planets. Or that there is some scourge out there that if you expand your footprint enough and make them aware of you, you'll get wiped out. I get that those are also possibilities.

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Old 03-22-2013, 10:12 AM   #174
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Isn't the great filter just physics? If we really can't travel faster than light, then we just can't get to each other.
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Old 03-22-2013, 10:19 AM   #175
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I was meaning the sample size of 2 planets in 1 solar system. What's to say that there are a lot of solar systems out there are similar to ours? It could be that your solar system has to be calibrated just right (1 in 1B or whatnot) to support planets with life.

Or it could be that there are quite a few interstellar species out there and they don't visit backwoods planets. Or that there is some scourge out there that if you expand your footprint enough and make them aware of you, you'll get wiped out. I get that those are also possibilities.

SI

Okay yeah, so we're saying the same thing .
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Old 03-22-2013, 11:42 AM   #176
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Isn't the great filter just physics? If we really can't travel faster than light, then we just can't get to each other.

That idea is being challenged all the time. It would not shock me if there was a way around it. Science is amazing.
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Old 03-22-2013, 11:53 AM   #177
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Isn't the great filter just physics? If we really can't travel faster than light, then we just can't get to each other.

The light speed limitation would certainly make it harder to develop a galaxy-spanning civilization, but not impossible. I've seen estimates using worldships traveling at about .1c that would have us colonizing the entire galaxy in about a million years. There are quite a few assumptions that go into estimates like those, but even if those assumptions are flawed and it might take four times as long to colonize the galaxy, then that should have happened thousands of times over by now if intelligent life had arisen in the distant (or even not-so-distant) past. So, the question remains: why hasn't that happened?

I suspect that SI and DT are right - such colonization has happened, to a degree at least, but we're just not seeing it. Perhaps we're looking for the wrong signs, or simply don't yet have the proper tools to see what we know will be the right signs. Perhaps we got lucky and the intelligence that evolved out there has adopted a kind of Prime Directive to avoid interfering in the natural development of sentient species, and they're doing their best to be nondescript in our neighborhood. Or perhaps they have a worldship of their own headed our way right now and we'll soon have all the evidence we need of galactic colonization in the form of multi-tentacled overlords (which raises a question: will they be viewed as tyrannical overlords by the hentai community, or as sexual liberators/validation? We'll need to keep an eye on those folks - they seem like potential collaborators).
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Old 03-22-2013, 04:35 PM   #178
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Drawing any conclusions from what we currently know boils down to nothing more than a "best guess" and is based far more on your personal outlook on such things than on any relevant facts.

The articles assertion that if we DO find evidence of life on mars meaning that we have more obstacles ahead instead of behind us is patently wrong, there is nothing to support that either way. it would appear to be more of a negative personal viewpoint of the interview-ee.
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Old 03-22-2013, 04:39 PM   #179
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We'll make great pets.
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Old 03-22-2013, 04:59 PM   #180
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I was meaning the sample size of 2 planets in 1 solar system. What's to say that there are a lot of solar systems out there are similar to ours? It could be that your solar system has to be calibrated just right (1 in 1B or whatnot) to support planets with life.

Or it could be that there are quite a few interstellar species out there and they don't visit backwoods planets. Or that there is some scourge out there that if you expand your footprint enough and make them aware of you, you'll get wiped out. I get that those are also possibilities.

SI

Well we are in the unfashionable end of the Western Arm of the Milky Way Galaxy.
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Old 03-22-2013, 05:05 PM   #181
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Well we are in the unfashionable end of the Western Arm of the Milky Way Galaxy.

Are you saying we live in the ghetto?

Is the Sol system the galactic equivelent of a crack-house?

And if so, what would that make Mississippi?

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Old 03-22-2013, 05:27 PM   #182
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We'll make great pets.

More like cow-like human steaks
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Old 03-29-2013, 04:12 PM   #183
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A pretty cool new view of Mars:

Mars Panorama, Captured By Curiosity Rover, Shows Red Planet In High Definition
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Old 04-09-2013, 12:19 PM   #184
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It's so odd to not see clouds or anything but just a dingy red sky (leaving LA jokes out of it)

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Old 04-09-2013, 12:31 PM   #185
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It's so odd to not see clouds or anything but just a dingy red sky (leaving LA jokes out of it)

SI

Here's an article discussing why you don't see clouds on Mars.....

Mars atmosphere, lost in space | Fox News
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Old 09-20-2013, 01:28 PM   #186
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Voyager 1 becomes first spacecraft to leave solar system: NASA | Toronto Star

Didn't know where to put this.
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Old 12-10-2013, 12:55 PM   #187
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Curiosity Finds Evidence Of Ancient Freshwater Lake On Mars : The Two-Way : NPR
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Old 06-21-2019, 01:15 PM   #188
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Mars - TBD-Rover-Name & (Curiosity, Phoenix, Spirit, Opportunity)

(From Gizmodo, link broken)
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We are now just a little over a year away from the launch of the Mars 2020 Mission, which will see NASA’s new rover reach the Red Planet on February 18, 2021. Once in Jezero Crater, the rover will search for signs of prior habitability and evidence of past microbial life, collect rock and surface samples, and perform some groundwork for a human mission to Mars, including an oxygen production test.


Last edited by Edward64 : 06-21-2019 at 01:19 PM.
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