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Could we excavate Mars in search of fossils/fossil fuel to prove that a form of life was once there

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posted on Aug, 4 2012 @ 01:34 AM
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I'm not entirely sure how to elaborate on the subject, but it's just something that has sprung to mind since I started hearing about Mars again thanks to the Curiosity rover. If we could send some special autonomous (or semi-autonomous) robot digging equipment and actually begin to excavate, we may find something preserved. I know that rovers have taken samples of stuff before, but I don't think any have really "dug" for something. The thing is, we'll need to dig pretty far in if we expect to find anything at all.

As of right now we can pretty much say that there was at least water flowing on Mars at some point, but that's the best we've currently got. I'd recommend excavating at the places where it's thought water was, something should be fossilised there.

Just some food for thought.
edit on 4/8/12 by shadowland8 because: (no reason given)

edit on 4/8/12 by shadowland8 because: (no reason given)




posted on Aug, 4 2012 @ 01:37 AM
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That would be one hell of an expensive "no".

Mars is just a dead rock, nothing more.



posted on Aug, 4 2012 @ 02:55 AM
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I would say YES, becouse of SpaceX, and the plan to put people on Mars (No return trip mentioned FYI) But you have to think about the variables. Rock densidy as they move deeper, replacement parts, and labor time, and so on.. The question becomes complex fast, or it could be so simple that evidence is blowing in the wind. If life onced existed on Mars, then it becomes our duty to find out just how far advanced did the life become. I don't personally put much faith in the Aliens living there (or have) Theory, but it sure would be amazing to know that they have! But... Back to the point... The truth of the matter is we do have an understanding of what we would be dealing with, compared to other planets, so excavation would be right there in the same context of learning about the planet itself. Would it be hard? Of course. But, if SpaceX dose do it, and people are there, this is a very logical thing that would be first on the list. This wouldn't be something done later on after we colonized the place, this is right up there with learning how to survive. The more and more learned through this, could be the difference between long term settlement and a short fling in space.

I always wondered what would happen if life (advanced life) was found, our current History Textbooks would be useless compared to the massive information needed to put in about the history of Mars. It would be the new world discovered all over again, and the advances in technology and every other field would be mind boggling. So to answer you question in the most simplest form. Yes, and they must inorder to move forward. Is there evidence of an ancient alien civilization? Only one way to find out.



posted on Aug, 4 2012 @ 02:58 AM
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reply to post by shadowland8
 


Thats a very creative idea. My best guess is this will occur within 15 years. Especially as more well funded space exploration biz's develop. We dont know alot yet about mars... Most is external observation data.
Its plausible for certain.



posted on Aug, 4 2012 @ 04:04 AM
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Originally posted by DaTroof
That would be one hell of an expensive "no".

Mars is just a dead rock, nothing more.


Eh? 2.5b to send this little bugger ;

Curiosity

but


This $2.5 billion expedition is not a life-detection mission. The lab’s instruments are the most sophisticated in the history of planetary space exploration. But they couldn’t distinguish pebbles from protozoa.

“Curiosity is not set up to detect life directly,” said Steven Lee, deputy manager of Mars Science Laboratory surface operations.

“Now if we come across a trilobite or a dinosaur bone, yes, that would be pretty definitive. But if life ever developed on Mars, it was most likely small, microbial life. So we’re not quite ready to make instruments small enough to do that detection directly on Mars.”

This mission is all about what planetary scientists call “habitability.” Scientists are trying to determine whether Mars ever harbored all the ingredients key to the formation of life.


You never know though...



posted on Aug, 4 2012 @ 04:10 AM
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i thought it was already pretty established that mars has been inhabited at some point anyway? i think it would be better to develop technology to explore our oceans more efficiently than sending stuff to mars that might or might not work when it gets there.



posted on Aug, 4 2012 @ 04:14 AM
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Wouldn't it be more realistic to do an ultrasound or x-ray or something to see if there might be something worth digging for?



posted on Aug, 4 2012 @ 07:34 AM
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reply to post by DaTroof
 


It's too bad that we're limited by the surly bonds of money when it comes to such ground breaking (no pun intended) things. Mars is pretty much dead now, but I have a feeling there's a history there waiting to be discovered.



posted on Aug, 4 2012 @ 09:28 AM
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reply to post by shadowland8
 


If Mars does live up to the expectation that every 5 million years or so it's polar ice melts, then it's, IMO, a given that some form of life has been there. And may come again.

But it won't be anything we can see fossilised such as bone or leaf. If anything, micro organisms may flourish during times when it's warmer and has flowing water.

As it tilts on it's axis giving it that short period of life giving qualities, it may have come and gone time and time again.

Even now there may still be something living deep within the crust, but we will never know until we can step foot there and manually dig.

That's not going to be within our lifetime. well mine anyway.

And it will be as if searching in a desert for a grain of sand with special qualities..

It's a shame that it's time of rotation does not coincide with the current human technology to view it...

edit on 4-8-2012 by mainidh because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 4 2012 @ 09:35 AM
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My guess is we could - but likely won't because of cost.

This is just my personal guess. When and if it happens the discovery will be a by-product of space mining or something like that..



posted on Aug, 5 2012 @ 12:12 AM
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Originally posted by ladyteeny
i thought it was already pretty established that mars has been inhabited at some point anyway? i think it would be better to develop technology to explore our oceans more efficiently than sending stuff to mars that might or might not work when it gets there.


Then you are not using trustworthy sources if the places you look at establish that. It is very unlikely Mars ever had life, and our current understanding puts the "right conditions" at a very short time frame a very long time ago. There are other places much more likely, such as Europa. Best case would be underground on Mars, only because that is an unknown, and the surface is a known.



posted on Aug, 5 2012 @ 09:14 AM
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reply to post by shadowland8
 


Adjacent to Curiosity's landing site is a mountain unofficially being called "Mt. Sharp" by NASA. The landing site (Gale Crater) was once thought to possibly have been an ancient lake, and Mt. Sharp may have rose out of the middle of that lake.

The layers of exposed strata in the sides of Mt. Sharp are planned to be studied by the MSL Curiosity Rover, and could provide a geological history of that part of mars without any digging required.

That's not to say they will see fossils in the strata of Mt. Sharp, but Dr. Matt Golombek (a lead NASA geologist working on the MSL mission) half-jokingly suggested that it would be great to find a fossil there. It should be noted that he isn't expecting to see a fossil sticking out of the strata, but he admitted that in his wildest dreams, they would.

It should also be noted that only relatively large creatures (bigger than single-cell microorganisms) can leave visible signs of life. Dr. Golombek pointed out that if single-celled microorganism once lived on a wet mars, they could have formed visible stromatolites. Stromatolites are mounds of material left behind by colonies of billions of single-celled creatures over millions of years.

Stromatolites

Here is a thread I made in which Golombek discusses stromatolites, the rock strata at Mt. Sharp, and other things about Curiosity's landing site:

www.abovetopsecret.com...




edit on 8/5/2012 by Soylent Green Is People because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 5 2012 @ 10:16 AM
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They have been working towards this for a couple of decades already. Not quite a revelation.




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