NASA Admits Habitable Mars?

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posted on Feb, 16 2014 @ 05:27 PM
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Hello ATS,

earlier today I was reading about the goals of Nasa's 2020 rover mission when one phrase caught my attention as it stood out of place from the overall meaning of the rest of the article.

Here are the Mission Objectives:



A. Characterize the processes that formed and modified the geologic record within a field exploration area on Mars selected for evidence of an astrobiologically-relevant ancient environment and geologic diversity.

B. Perform the following astrobiologically-relevant investigations on the geologic materials at the landing site:
1. Determine the habitability of an ancient environment.
2. For ancient environments interpreted to have been habitable, search for materials with high biosignature preservation potential.
3. Search for potential evidence of past life using the observations regarding habitability and preservation as a guide.

C. Assemble a returnable cache of samples for possible future return to Earth.
1.Obtain samples that are scientifically selected, for which the field context is documented, that contain the most promising samples identified in Objective B and that represent the geologic diversity of the field site.
2. Ensure compliance with future needs in the areas of planetary protection and engineering so that the cache could be returned in the future if NASA chooses to do so.

D. Contribute to the preparation for human exploration of Mars by making significant progress towards filling at least one major Strategic Knowledge Gap (SKG). The highest priority SKG measurements that are synergistic with Mars 2020 science objectives and compatible with the mission concept are (in priority order):
1. Demonstration of In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) technologies to enable propellant and consumable oxygen production from the Martian atmosphere for future exploration missions.
2. Characterization of atmospheric dust size and morphology to understands its effects on the operation of surface systems and human health.
3. Surface weather measurements to validate global atmospheric models

Cool, it's almost they're telling us there WAS life there. Well almost.


Then there's the above mentioned interesting phrase (emphasis mine):


The Mars 2020 rover mission will explore the geology of a once habitable site

Mars was a habitable place, without a doubt ^^^



And to add more confusion:

"The Mars 2020 mission concept does not presume that life ever existed on Mars," said Jack Mustard, chairman of the Science Definition Team and a professor at the Geological Sciences at Brown University in Providence, R.I.



So ATS, what is it, slip, leak, internal miscommunication, ground preparation or something else maybe?


Sources:
Linky #1
Linky #2
edit on 16-2-2014 by zilebeliveunknown because: (no reason given)




posted on Feb, 16 2014 @ 05:31 PM
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Err, umm, havent the space exp community been talking about the possibility of terraforming Mars into a 2nd earth for decades now?

I can remember that far back that all they need to do is start a chain reaction which injects CO2 into the atmosphere with bioload and plants to recycle that back into oxygen and presto, humanity's original home would be restored!

The view of Earth from Mars is quite enticing. I almost can't blame them for ruining their planet to relocate to Earth 100s millenia ago!



posted on Feb, 16 2014 @ 05:48 PM
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reply to post by zilebeliveunknown
 


I see no contradiction or "admission" (what a strange term to use here). Mars was hypothetically habitable in the past, and the rover will look for evidence of past habitability and, with any luck, signs of past life. These particulars of the mission were anounced a while ago, so nothing new here.

This new rover is the next step after Curiosity, which has also been investigating possible habitability of ancient Mars.

Note - habitability doesn't automatically imply there was life there.



posted on Feb, 16 2014 @ 06:04 PM
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reply to post by wildespace
 

I can somewhat see your point.
But it was clearly stated in that phrase with certainty that Mars was habitable, otherwise it would've been written in whole another manner like: The Mars 2020 rover mission will explore the geology of a once potentially habitable site.



Note - habitability doesn't automatically imply there was life there.

I'd disagree.
Derived from Habitat...

A habitat is an ecological or environmental area that is inhabited by a particular species of animal, plant, or other type of organism. It is the natural environment in which an organism lives, or the physical environment that surrounds a species population.
Wiki
edit on 16-2-2014 by zilebeliveunknown because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 16 2014 @ 06:13 PM
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They know as well as we do that Mars has already got a civilisation on it. I only hope they dont alter the atmosphere to make it HUMAN habitable (ie alter the makeup and composition of the atmosphere). That would be killing a lot more of the same beings that they have already run over in their rovers. :-) That little smiley means that's a joke by the way, for those who cannot recognize it.



posted on Feb, 16 2014 @ 06:22 PM
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reply to post by qmantoo
 

I can appreciate humour mate, thank you for that.

Do you have any say on the topic of the thread?



posted on Feb, 16 2014 @ 06:24 PM
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It is justified to say it WAS habitable, we KNOW it had water, we know it was warmer, we know it had a magnetosphere etc.
There is nothing to "admit" (yes, indeed a strange word to use) which seems to imply this information once was hidden or something.

"
Cool, it's almost they're telling us there's life there.
"

No, they're saying Mars was once habitable.
edit on 72014RuSundayAmerica/Chicago19PMSundaySunday by NoRulesAllowed because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 16 2014 @ 06:28 PM
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"The Mars 2020 rover mission will explore the geology of a once habitable site"


Except they didn't say it is currently habitable but rather it was in the past.

You can interpret what they said however you want and that doesn't change the fact that following basic grammar rules they are talking about the past tense.
edit on 2014pAmerica/Chicago2806ppm by opethPA because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 16 2014 @ 06:37 PM
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zilebeliveunknown
reply to post by wildespace
 

I'd disagree.
Derived from Habitat...


I disagree with your disagreement. The original phrase was "determine the habitability," i.e.: Determine if it EVER WAS habitable. The only real question in this thread is why you insist on interpreting a clear mission statement to determine whether Mars EVER WAS habitable into the idea that it IS habitable. This question has been extant for a couple of centuries now. It's no wonder the question is still being asked.

There is no smoking gun here, no slip of the tongue, no admission at all. It's just wishful thinking on your part--at best.



posted on Feb, 16 2014 @ 06:37 PM
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reply to post by NoRulesAllowed
 



It is justified to say it WAS habitable

Of course, but they've never before said until now with certainty It Was Once Habitable, it was always Mars Could Have Been Habitable.


There is nothing to "admit" (yes, indeed a strange word to use) which seems to imply this information once was hidden or something.

I used that word in context that they've never before explicitly said that Mars was habitable. They were in possesion of information that was kept hidden from the public, on the other side, the public suspected therefore now they admit it.


No, they're saying Mars was once habitable.




posted on Feb, 16 2014 @ 06:39 PM
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reply to post by zilebeliveunknown
 


I don't think it's any sort of secret or conspiracy that scientists consider that Mars was once a habitable planet in the sense that we humans could have existed there millions of years ago......however, it doesn't mean that humans (or any life forms) did live there....I'd hazard a guess that there are millions if not billions of planets that are or where capable of supporting life out there......doesn't mean they did .....or do.


NASA gets a hell of a bad press in my opinion....damned if they do, damned if they don't.



posted on Feb, 16 2014 @ 06:44 PM
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reply to post by opethPA
 

Thanks for grammar lesson mate.


Except they didn't say it is currently habitable but rather it was in the past.

You're missing the point.
Yes, they didn't say it's currenty habitable, we can agree on that.
The point: They've never before stated in any context that Mars was habitable.



posted on Feb, 16 2014 @ 06:49 PM
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"
They were in possesion of information
"

If they were in possession of information, why then send probes up there?

The Viking probes many years ago (correct me if I am wrong) came to INCONCLUSIVE results in regards to organics on the Mars, and detecting and confirming water obviously is also something which just very recently happened, eg. with Curiosity.

Besides of that there was no "information" hidden, science likes to be certain before statements are made. And yes we still do not 100% know whether *at this moment* life, organics etc. are actually on Mars, eg. deep buried below in the soil etc..etc. in the same way as we don't know 100% for sure whether life once WAS on Mars. But it's justified to say "was habitable" since we now more or less confirmed it really WAS once "habitable" and we can say that with more confidence than...say...10 years ago.



posted on Feb, 16 2014 @ 06:49 PM
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reply to post by zilebeliveunknown
 


Of course they are both a. looking for what remains of life and b. looking at the future habitability of Mars. I'd say that they've been considering the possibility for decades as I remember one of our "group projects" as a kid in the gifted program was to basically decide what could be left behind and what was needed to colonize Mars.



posted on Feb, 16 2014 @ 06:56 PM
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reply to post by schuyler
 



The only real question in this thread is why you insist on interpreting a clear mission statement to determine whether Mars EVER WAS habitable into the idea that it IS habitable.

I just realized my mistake there, it should've read that they're saying with certainty that Mars WAS habitable.
I'll try to edit that part.



posted on Feb, 16 2014 @ 06:58 PM
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zilebeliveunknown
You're missing the point.
Yes, they didn't say it's currenty habitable, we can agree on that.
The point: They've never before stated in any context that Mars was habitable.


Except your OP doesn't come off that way at all and it is very easy to read the way multiple people on this thread did.



posted on Feb, 16 2014 @ 07:04 PM
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reply to post by NoRulesAllowed
 



The Viking probes many years ago (correct me if I am wrong) came to INCONCLUSIVE results in regards to organics on the Mars

As far as I know, there weren't any aknowledgements on their part about organics on Mars.



posted on Feb, 16 2014 @ 07:09 PM
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zilebeliveunknown
Of course, but they've never before said until now with certainty It Was Once Habitable, it was always Mars Could Have Been Habitable.

I think we have the latest results from Curiosity to thank for that. Data from Curiosity shows signs of a habitable environment: neutral liquid water and a plethora of organics and other compounds. www.cbsnews.com...
edit on 16-2-2014 by wildespace because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 16 2014 @ 07:09 PM
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reply to post by opethPA
 

Sorry mate...
I blame my english, and the written form of expressing my thoughts.



posted on Feb, 16 2014 @ 07:24 PM
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reply to post by wildespace
 



I think we have the latest results from Curiosity to thank for that. Data from Curiosity shows signs of a habitable environment: neutral liquid water and a plethora of organics and other compounds.

In order for us to prove that Mars was habitable, we need to find traces of actual past life.
What we learned with Curiosity is that Mars had all the necessary ingredients for life to existed, but we didn't find actual traces of past life there.
edit on 16-2-2014 by zilebeliveunknown because: (no reason given)





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