posted on Nov, 21 2012 @ 05:02 PM
Some believe they will announce some discovery of microbial life fossils, or maybe even a live sample.
It might be more likely that it is a resource discovery: Gold, silver, diamonds, oil?
That'd be pretty historical...say they find a gold mine 10x bigger than any on Earth, that'd be the needle that pops the gold bubble. Maybe the delay
in announcement is some type of economic discussion on how to handle the potential influx of supply without causing a pricing crisis.
Future Mars prospectors will likely find mineral riches in some unusual settings, say planetary scientists studying the different ways valuable
metals might have been concentrated on the red planet.
On Earth, surface waters, ground waters and even chemicals left by living things play major roles in leaching, concentrating and depositing valuable
metals and minerals like iron, gold, silver, nickel, copper and many more. But on Mars there are no oceans or surface waters; no microorganisms
either. What's more, the planet is so cold that even groundwater is frozen as permafrost and functions as little more than another mineral in the
ground. So where does a starving miner look on Mars for usable quantities of ore?
Try the volcanoes and impact craters, says planetary scientist Michael West of Australian National University in Canberra and the Mars
"Much of Mars is covered with dust, and we had an incomplete understanding of its mineralogy," said David Bish, one of the scientists monitoring
Curiosity's findings from here on Earth at Indiana University. "We now know it is mineralogically similar to basaltic material, with significant
amounts of feldspar, pyroxene and olivine, which was not unexpected. Roughly half the soil is non-crystalline material, such as volcanic glass or
products from weathering of the
Scientists say the Martian soil at the rover Curiosity's landing site contains minerals similar to what's found on Hawaii's Mauna Kea
Maybe it is some gemstone? Hawaii has a good deal of those...
Even the discovery of iron ore would be significant.
ETA: So who would claim the resources? The US gov?
What would you think if they found enough wealth to pay down the entire debt?
Honestly, materials on Mars must be worth more than 20T.
Even if I'm wrong, the discovery of commodities off Earth is inevitable. Funding for space exploration shouldn't be an issue, it will end up being the
highest return investment we'll ever see.
edit on 11/21/2012 by PatrickGarrow17 because: (no reason given)