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Successful New Landing on Mars

 
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Jun, 2008 06:30 am
gungasnake wrote:
They have overwhelming evidence that Mars used to be inhabited, megalithic structures, pyramids, villages and other inhabited places, ancient mechanical debris strewn across the sand, and NASA, which can't deal with the implications of all that to several of their basic theories, wants to land probes on the poles and look for water or microbes...

And look, you photoshop'd your head onto a space suit, how cute. We didn't think you had the skills.
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 28 Jun, 2008 10:41 pm
By rasping to icy soil, the robotic arm on Phoenix proved it could flatten the layer where soil meets ice, exposing the icy flat surface below the soil. Scientists can now proceed with plans to scoop and scrape samples into Phoenix's various analytical instruments. Scientists will test samples to determine if some ice in the soil may have been liquid in the past during warmer climate cycles.
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rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Jun, 2008 08:01 am
Quote:
Phoenix Returns Treasure Trove For Science

June 26, 2008 -- NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander performed its first wet chemistry experiment on Martian soil flawlessly yesterday, returning a wealth of data that for Phoenix scientists was like winning the lottery.

"We are awash in chemistry data," said Michael Hecht of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, lead scientist for the Microscopy, Electrochemistry and Conductivity Analyzer, or MECA, instrument on Phoenix. "We're trying to understand what is the chemistry of wet soil on Mars, what's dissolved in it, how acidic or alkaline it is. With the results we received from Phoenix yesterday, we could begin to tell what aspects of the soil might support life."

"This is the first wet-chemical analysis ever done on Mars or any planet, other than Earth," said Phoenix co-investigator Sam Kounaves of Tufts University, science lead for the wet chemistry investigation.

About 80 percent of Phoenix's first, two-day wet chemistry experiment is now complete. Phoenix has three more wet-chemistry cells for use later in the mission.

"This soil appears to be a close analog to surface soils found in the upper dry valleys in Antarctica," Kouvanes said. "The alkalinity of the soil at this location is definitely striking. At this specific location, one-inch into the surface layer, the soil is very basic, with a pH of between eight and nine. We also found a variety of components of salts that we haven't had time to analyze and identify yet, but that include magnesium, sodium, potassium and chloride."

"This is more evidence for water because salts are there. We also found a reasonable number of nutrients, or chemicals needed by life as we know it," Kounaves said. "Over time, I've come to the conclusion that the amazing thing about Mars is not that it's an alien world, but that in many aspects, like mineralogy, it's very much like Earth."
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Jun, 2008 08:08 am
More and more, I'm believing something like self sustaining domed settlements may be possible on Mars. I don't have the expertise to think about changing the atmosphere there to mirror that of the Earth, but it's an exciting thought.
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Jul, 2008 09:12 am
http://www.nivnac.co.uk/phoenix/pans/sol16/peter_pan_sol16_full.jpg
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rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Jul, 2008 01:51 pm
If conditions for life on Mars continue to be this good (see article below), is there a point at which we actually expect to see find evidence of past life on Mars?

And if Mars turns out to be just as "pregnant" with pre-biotic conditions as Earth was, but we DON'T find evidence for life, then we may have to rethink just how lucky it might have been that life ever began on Earth.

An [URL=http://www.reuters.com/article/scienceNews/idUSN1646246020080716]Aricle[/URL] wrote:
"The big surprise from these new results is how pervasive and long-lasting Mars' water was, and how diverse the wet environments were," said Scott Murchie, CRISM's principal investigator at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland.

The clay-like minerals, called phyllosilicates, suggest water interacted with rocks dating back to what is called the Noachian period on Mars, about 4.6 billion to 3.8 billion years ago.

"In most locations the rocks are lightly altered by liquid water, but in a few locations they have been so altered that a great deal of water must have flushed though the rocks and soil," Mustard said.

Another study, published in Nature Geosciences, found that the wet conditions persisted for a long time. It found evidence of river channels forming a delta where the river emptied into a crater lake.

"The distribution of clays inside the ancient lakebed shows that standing water must have persisted for thousands of years," said Brown University's Bethany Ehlmann.

"Clays are wonderful at trapping and preserving organic matter, so if life ever existed in this region, there's a chance of its chemistry being preserved in the delta." (Reporting by Maggie Fox; editing by Julie Steenhuysen and Vicki Allen)
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spendius
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Jul, 2008 02:18 pm
I hope it's not a re-run of the Florida property boom of the mid twenties.

There are some remarkable similarities. Mainly the gullibility of a portion of the public.
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Jul, 2008 02:34 pm
Mars had the water. But, were conditions right for a long enough period of time for the evolutionary process to proceed?
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rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Jul, 2008 02:35 pm
edgarblythe wrote:
Mars had the water. But, were conditions right for a long enough period of time for the evolutionary process to proceed?

Judging from that article, it's beginning to look like it.
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Jul, 2008 02:39 pm
Does Mars have a magnetic field sufficient to deflect most cosmic radiation?
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rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Jul, 2008 02:45 pm
Setanta wrote:
Does Mars have a magnetic field sufficient to deflect most cosmic radiation?

No, it does not. And that's a good point (a key difference between the two planets).

However the early Earth didn't have any ozone, the lack of which allowed a large amount of cosmic radiation to reach the surface, and life still arose. And I think that cosmic radiation is actually beneficial to certain chemical reactions which result in much of the prebiotic "soup".
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spendius
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Jul, 2008 05:28 pm
Campbell's dont sell that and if Campbell's dont sell it it cant be much cop.
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Jul, 2008 03:12 pm
NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander Works Through The Night

July 21, 2008 -- To coordinate with observations made by an orbiter flying repeatedly overhead, NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander is working a schedule Monday that includes staying awake all night for the first time.

Phoenix is using its weather station, stereo camera and conductivity probe to monitor changes in the lower atmosphere and ground surface at the same time NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter studies the atmosphere and ground from above.

The lander's fork-like thermal and conductivity probe was inserted into the soil Sunday for more than 24 hours of measurements coordinated with the atmosphere observations. One goal is to watch for time-of-day changes such as whether some water alters from ice phase to vapor phase and enters the atmosphere from the soil.

"We are looking for patterns of movement and phase change," said Michael Hecht, lead scientist for Phoenix's Microscopy, Electrochemistry and Conductivity Analyzer, which includes the conductivity probe. "The probe is working great. We see some changes in soil electrical properties, which may be related to water, but we're still chewing on the data."

The extended work shift for the lander began Sunday afternoon Pacific Time. In Mars time at the landing site, it lasts from the morning of Phoenix's 55th Martian day, or sol, to the afternoon of its 56th sol.

The Phoenix team's plans for Sol 56 also include commanding the lander to conduct additional testing of the techniques for collecting a sample of icy soil. When the team is confident about the collecting method, it plans to use Phoenix's robotic arm to deliver an icy sample to an oven of the Thermal and Evolved-Gas Analyzer (TEGA).

The TEGA instrument successfully opened both doors Saturday for the oven chosen to get the first icy sample. Images from the Surface Stereo Camera confirmed that the doors are wide open.
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 31 Jul, 2008 03:33 pm
NASA Confirms Water On Mars
Laboratory experiments aboard NASA's Phoenix lander have confirmed the existence of water on Mars for the first time, the space agency announced Thursday.

"We have water," said William Boynton of the University of Arizona, lead scientist for the onboard experiment that confirmed the discovery. He said that while other probes had found evidence for water on the Red Planet, this was "the first time Martian water has been touched and tasted."

The test sample was heated after being brought into the Phoenix lander's lab by its robotic arm on Wednesday. Scientists say the chemical test confirms the presence of ice near the Martian north pole.

Until now, photos of hard splotchy areas on the surface near the Phoenix landing site were the only evidence for ice.

Phoenix landed in the Martian arctic on May 25 on a three-month digging mission. NASA on Thursday said it was extending the mission another two months.
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Thu 31 Jul, 2008 04:29 pm
Wow! That's seemingly such a small statement, but so cool!
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 31 Jul, 2008 05:00 pm
I am believing now that water exists in lots of places we never imagined before.
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Thu 31 Jul, 2008 06:08 pm
just to be clear, they do specifically mean WATER ice, yes?
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 31 Jul, 2008 06:46 pm
The press realease calls it real water.
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 1 Aug, 2008 09:07 pm
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rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Fri 1 Aug, 2008 10:26 pm
edgarblythe wrote:
"Finding organics would really change our way of thinking," Boynton said.

But so far, organic molecules haven't shown up on Mars.

What exactly do they mean by "organics"? Are they looking for amino acids, or proteins or what?
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