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Has Mars Science Laboratory Made the Discovery of the Decade?

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posted on Nov, 6 2008 @ 11:59 AM
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Has Mars Science Laboratory Made the Discovery of the Decade?


www.dailygalaxy.com

A gas plume on Mars could turn out to be the most important discovery of the decade....hotspots of methane gas emission, extremely localized plumes whose concentration fades quickly in time...

...NASA team leader Michael Mumma puts forward the idea that subterranean bacteria could be producing the noxious fumes...
(visit the link for the full news article)



[edit on 6/11/08 by Rapacity]




posted on Nov, 6 2008 @ 11:59 AM
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I apologize for editing the snippet but I thought it best to remove the woffal. I haven't changed it's meaning, promise.

I hope we do get to investigate this a little more closely; and I hope it doesn't go off while the robots are on top of it. I wouldn't want us to go searching Mars for WMD's.

I so much want us to find Martian moss or fungus equivalents down there. I can't wait to hear more about this. Well done NASA.

www.dailygalaxy.com
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Nov, 6 2008 @ 12:21 PM
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reply to post by Rapacity
 


Not to detract from the discovery but the Mars Science Lab will not launch until next year. "Slight" detail but it's unfortunate that information can get distorted like this.



posted on Nov, 6 2008 @ 12:59 PM
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reply to post by Phage
 


yeah sucks when headlines are misleading. since few are able to get past that to read entire articles



posted on Nov, 6 2008 @ 01:23 PM
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Phage, that's a good point. I did read (speedily) the entire article but failed to realize that the Science Lab had yet to launch. Even so, hotspots of methane gas have been discovered on Mars; they might only have been inferred spectroscopically but they're there all the same.

I can't alter the headline because it's the one that came with the article; and for all that I know, the Science Lab may be active from Earth else the article's writer may have been discussing separate science labs (one on Earth (Goddard Flight Center) and one to be launched); or the writer may just have been lumping all science labs into one grouping for the sake of discussion. I none affect the articles important point: the signs of life on Mars are beginning to be shown more and more.

[edit on 6/11/08 by Rapacity]



posted on Nov, 6 2008 @ 03:00 PM
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reply to post by Rapacity
 


One of the proposed LZ's for the MSL is Nili Fossae which, as it turns out, happens to be one of the methane "hot spots". This discovery might move it up on the list.

The MSL will carry equipment to look for organic compounds in the ground and atmosphere. The Quadrupole Mass Spectrometer will be more sensitive than the instrument carried on the Viking mission and may provide some data which is less ambiguous.



posted on Nov, 6 2008 @ 03:10 PM
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reply to post by Phage
 


The 2009 launch of the Mars Science Laboratory may not go as planned, according to this report in universetoday.com from October 7:


The Mars Science Laboratory, a souped-up Mars rover scheduled to launch next year might be delayed, scaled down or canceled due to technical problems and cost overruns. The nuclear powered rover designed to search for microbial life on the Red Planet, has already cost $1.5 billion and if it reaches a 30-percent cost overrun, it could be cancelled by Congress.
Aviation Week reports that officials from the agency's Mars Exploration Program (MEP) and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) will brief NASA Administrator Mike Griffin and Science Associate Administrator Ed Weiler this Friday and attempt to work out a potential solution. Delaying the rover's mission until 2011 would be costly, but Weiler has said that JPL is so stretched trying to make the 2009 launch window that the result could be "a nuclear crater on Mars."


www.universetoday.com...



posted on Nov, 6 2008 @ 03:50 PM
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reply to post by ziggystar60
 


As a result of a meeting held after that article was published the mission is still alive...barely.

Griffin opted to keep the spacecraft's launch on schedule for next year and chose not to delay or cancel the troubled mission. "It's easy to say let's just cancel it and move on, but we've poured over $1.5 billion into this, the science is critical and it's a flagship mission in the Mars program," said Ed Weiler, associate administrator for NASA's science mission directorate.

Source



posted on Nov, 6 2008 @ 05:19 PM
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Originally posted by ziggystar60
The 2009 launch of the Mars Science Laboratory may not go as planned, according to this report in universetoday.com from October 7:

[SNIP] Delaying the rover's mission until 2011 would be costly, but Weiler has said that JPL is so stretched trying to make the 2009 launch window that the result could be "a nuclear crater on Mars."

www.universetoday.com...


Good Lord, imagine the irony and horror if they did select the Nili Fossae area as the landing site because of the potential of life being discovered there, only to have the MSL go Hiroshima on the site, killing whatever bacteria is there and flushing the mission. I can see the headlines now: "Man Discovers, Then Promptly Kills Only Known Lifeform on Mars."



posted on Nov, 6 2008 @ 05:56 PM
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reply to post by burdman30ott6
 


A very poor choice of words.

There won't be a nuclear explosion if the lander crashes. The reference is to the power supply, a Radioisotope thermoelectric generator. We been using them for a long time. It does not use a chain reaction to generate power but the heat of natural radioactive decay.

But...the area could be dusted with a light coating of plutonium dioxide.

nuclear.gov...



posted on Nov, 6 2008 @ 06:57 PM
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reply to post by Phage
 


Thanks, Phage, you are obviously more updated than I am. It's hard to keep up with you smart guys!




posted on Nov, 6 2008 @ 07:02 PM
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Oh great they found my keys! (reads article) oh never mind just some stinky gas.

(searches for keys)

I swear I left em on one of these planets. :shk: Id loose my head if it weren't securely attached to my neck.

Mars seems like it's more like Earth is every day. Maybe one day they will figure out that there at least used to be life on mars.



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