Thanks for the feedback fellas.
Bap: yeah by Rover Team I mean the guys (on Terra) at JPL. Maybe if we can shrink our guys enough they can hitch a ride on Mars Science Lab in 2k9.
Thain: Actually I didn't put too much into it. So I'm not heartbroken my insect hypothesis has been discounted. I agree, considering the temps and
pressures a flying insect would be very impractical biomechanically on Mars (not to mention the lack of O2 would make a fast, aerobic metabolism
highly improbable). I'm truely much more interested in the potential for microbial vs lichen and/or algae on rock substrate and in (probably very
saline) subsurface aquifers.
Terapin: I said bilat symmetry is a hallmark
(A conspicuous feature or characteristic) of Biology, not a requirement. And yes, starfish ARE
bilatteraly symmetrical, (I'll give you a minute to draw a picture...). The rock "analogy" is really just plain silly. A rock isn't a biological
system to begin with, so your clever comparison is just pointless and completely out of context.
I agree about the size of wings in a rarified environment. Considering I never mention wings as such in my initial post, I find it interesting that
you feel the need to school me about them. If you find the phrase "appearing almost like a terrestrial butterfly" to be synonomous with the phrase
"bejeezers, I see wings on dem-der Martian butterflies!" you'd be incorrect.
btw Lichen are a symbiotic organism with only one partner being a photobiont, the other partner being a fungus. As for lichen and algae my hopes lean
more toward a chemosynthetic autotroph able to reduce (chemically speaking) the abundant supply of CO2 in the atmosphere to CH4. As an apparant expert
I'm sure you're aware of the methane recently (2004) observed in the Martian atmosphere. Perhaps such a reducing organism is responsible for the
persistance of this background CH4?
"The Panocam is not the Rovers only piece of equipment. A Spectrometer determines mineral makeup and Thermal imaging with spectroscopy is used as
well." Um, whoever argued about the instruments or their capabilities?
"Lichens would immediately show up with this data..." No, they wouldn't. Organics are not going to be decisively detected with ANY of the science
payloads aboard EITHER rover, only the relative mineralogy of rocks and soils via the Mini-TES. The Mössbauer Spectrometer, don't think so. So how
bout the Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer?.... not gonna do it. The only instrument which would be helpful is the The Microscopic Imager and (maybe)
the rock abrasion tool. Most of these instruments might possibly be able to detect local anomalous deviations in expected mineral deposition which may
remotely be related to Biological processes, but NO ONE at JPL or NASA is going to say "Hey, this is front page news!"
".... and it would be front page news. " (see above) and you do know the 1976 Viking Labeled Release life detection experiment found living
microorganisms in the soil of Mars right? Somehow that didn't make the front page. Even Clinton announcing (the hotly contested) "martian meteorite
microbes" in August '96 on national Prime-Time news barely made a stir. So there ya go,.... Front page news hardly.
forgot armap!!!! sorry, groovy picture. I'll check it out more when I get home from work
[edit on 27-12-2006 by Saucerfreak2012]