Life on Mars?

Off topic discussion zone.

Moderators: another_commander, winston, Cody

User avatar
Gimbal Locke
---- E L I T E ----
---- E L I T E ----
Posts: 293
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2012 11:32 pm
Location: Brussels
Contact:

Life on Mars?

Post by Gimbal Locke »

Will this gentleman get an answer to his question?

John Grotzinger, the principal investigator for the Mars rover mission, says they recently put a soil sample in SAM, and the analysis shows something earthshaking. "This data is gonna be one for the history books. It's looking really good."

http://www.npr.org/2012/11/20/165513016 ... um-for-now

User avatar
Smivs
Retired Assassin
Retired Assassin
Posts: 8408
Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2010 11:31 am
Location: Disunited Kingdom
Contact:

Re: Life on Mars?

Post by Smivs »

I suspect this is just more hype, and will be something interesting but ultimately disappointing. Such things have happened before, several times.
Commander Smivs, the friendliest Gourd this side of Riedquat.

User avatar
ClymAngus
---- E L I T E ----
---- E L I T E ----
Posts: 2508
Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2008 12:31 am
Location: London England
Contact:

Re: Life on Mars?

Post by ClymAngus »

Gimbal Locke wrote:Will this gentleman get an answer to his question?

John Grotzinger, the principal investigator for the Mars rover mission, says they recently put a soil sample in SAM, and the analysis shows something earthshaking. "This data is gonna be one for the history books. It's looking really good."

http://www.npr.org/2012/11/20/165513016 ... um-for-now

<gasp> It's found John Simm.....

User avatar
CommRLock78
---- E L I T E ----
---- E L I T E ----
Posts: 1132
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2012 7:35 pm
Location: US
Contact:

Re: Life on Mars?

Post by CommRLock78 »

It's hard to draw any conclusions from the article, but we'll see... I'm skeptical. I think there is much more promise for life on Europa, honestly. :mrgreen:
"I'll laser the mark all while munching a fistful of popcorn." - Markgräf von Ededleen, Marquess, Brutal Great One, Assassins' Guild Exterminator
---------------------------
At the helm of the Caduceus Omega, 'Murderous Morrígan'

User avatar
superbatprime
Dangerous
Dangerous
Posts: 120
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2012 10:09 am
Location: Location, Location.

Re: Life on Mars?

Post by superbatprime »

Ehhh, I've been burned by NASA on this angle few times.
A few "big announcements" relating to exoplanets were totally giving this vibe that it was going to be "the one" and it turns out to be "this one could maybe be slightly closer to the habitable zone than other ones... but we can't verify anything, thank you, any questions?"

It irks me sometimes because while they're not exactly crying wolf, surely they know very well that the majority of people who will actually take an interest in this are waiting in hope for "the one" (an exoplanet we are very sure can support life) or 100% confirmation of Martian microbial life either active now or in the past.

So sometimes it feels like this hope is being exploited a little to increase attention.
Not that I object to NASA's work getting attention (the opposite, more public interest leads to more money for space!) but it's just that I'm one of the 'exploitees' if you know what I mean and I take these questions (as I'm sure everyone here does) of potential alien life and habitable planets seriously.

Because right now, we're all secretly harboring a fragile hope that this is that Martian confirmation even as we decry the hype.
It's a weird feeling, expecting to be disappointed but still holding this spark of "maybe, just maybe...".
So then I says to him, I says "naw dude, Oolite ain't no Space Opera... Oolite is Space Rock and Roll!"

User avatar
ClymAngus
---- E L I T E ----
---- E L I T E ----
Posts: 2508
Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2008 12:31 am
Location: London England
Contact:

Re: Life on Mars?

Post by ClymAngus »

It's one of those is there or isn't there questions.

So in many ways it reminds me of my 20's. It's like I'm going on a date with NASA and NASA is the girl.

"so babe, I think we've hit the point in our relationship where we're ready for life on Mars"
"I'm not sure, judy's said it, and anne, but clare didn't really like saying there was life on Mars"
"that's cool, if your not comfortable then it's fine"
"no, I like you and i WANT to say there's life on Mars, but I'm, worried that after you've got your life on Mars..."
"what?"
"That you won't respect me in the morning."

NASA. A.K.A. Non-comital relationship.

User avatar
Diziet Sma
---- E L I T E ----
---- E L I T E ----
Posts: 6310
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 12:20 pm
Location: Aboard the Pitviper S.E. "Blackwidow"

Re: Life on Mars?

Post by Diziet Sma »

Very jaded (and probably justified) comments from Keith Cowing at Nasawatch.com:

http://nasawatch.com/archives/2012/11/m ... s-ear.html
Keith's 20 Nov note: NASA SMD PAO has confirmed that Grotzinger will make an announcement at the AGU meeting next Wednesday. Given that he repeatedly uses phrases such as "Earthshaking" and "one for the history books" when talking to the media (clearly with zero NASA PAO guidance) one had better hope that his news will indeed be of that importance. Of course, while everyone seems to be thinking that SAM may have found something important in terms of organic compounds, it could well be that it has found absolutely no sign of organics. I suppose both extremes could be considered "Earthshaking" and "one for the history books". Given NASA SMD's recent botched PR efforts with regard to life in the universe i.e. "Arsenic-based life" and "Earthlike planets", yet another false alarm or flurry of unsubstantiated arm waving and hype would really undermine SMD's credibility.

Keith's 21 Nov 10:07 am EST update: Now NASA PAO and others are finally being dragged into the viral discussion. Perhaps if Grotzinger coordinated his message and choice of words (in advance), things would calm down a little. Given that everyone at NASA is either on vacation or about to go away for a long Thanksgiving weekend, I suspect this flurry won't really diminish. All too soon the UK tabloids will be proclaiming that Curiosity has (once again) "found life" on Mars.

Découverte historique » pour Curiosity : le vrai, le faux, Ciel & Space

VIA Google Translate: "A "buzz" unjustified "None of that!" Insists the French Michel Cabane, Co scientific instrument Sat "We do not understand what is happening. We have absolutely no news to announce glowing!"

A Mars Announcement 'for the History Books'? Not So Fast, Time

JPL spokesman Guy Webster made just this point today in an e-mail to TIME: "As for history books, the whole mission is for the history books," he wrote. That's not to say he rules out the possibility of truly big news. "It won't be earthshaking," he said in a later phone call, "but it will be interesting."

Keith's 21 Nov 2:46 pm EST update: According to Mars Curiosity's Facebook page: "What did I discover on Mars? That rumors spread fast online. My team considers this whole mission "one for the history books." This is just bizarre.

First Grotzinger, the mission's Co-I gets quoted on a national news outlet saying some rather provocative things. Then NASA PAO refuses to make any statement either confirming or denying what Grotzinger said (indeed they have decline to dispute these comments when asked). Then someone at JPL takes to a Facebook page to try and cast doubt on Internet rumors. Between Grotzinger's comments, and lack of PAO clarification, it is obvious that no one really cares if these rumors continue - or if they are inaccurate - and also, that no one is really in charge of public relations for this mission.
Most games have some sort of paddling-pool-and-water-wings beginning to ease you in: Oolite takes the rather more Darwinian approach of heaving you straight into the ocean, often with a brick or two in your pockets for luck. ~ Disembodied

User avatar
Gimbal Locke
---- E L I T E ----
---- E L I T E ----
Posts: 293
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2012 11:32 pm
Location: Brussels
Contact:

Re: Life on Mars?

Post by Gimbal Locke »

Well, Curiosity did not find life but it has found plastic.
Last week Curiosity was able to use its SAM (Sample Analysis at Mars) device to confirm the discovery. A robotic arm with a complex system of Spectral Analysis devices was able to vaporize and identify gasses from the sample, concluding that it is in fact plastic. How plastic formed or ended up on the Martian surface is quite an exciting mystery that sparks many questions. The type of plastic sampled as we know so far can only be formed using petrochemicals, meaning not only that there could possibly be a source of oil on the Red Planet, but that somehow it got turned into plastic. Even more interesting is that oil or petrochemicals used to create this type of plastic are only known to come from ancient fossilized organic materials, such as zooplankton and algae, which geochemical processes convert into oil pointing to the earthshaking evidence that there was once life on mars.
Vaqrrq, guvf vf n ubnk.

User avatar
ClymAngus
---- E L I T E ----
---- E L I T E ----
Posts: 2508
Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2008 12:31 am
Location: London England
Contact:

Re: Life on Mars?

Post by ClymAngus »

Plastic?! Is something burning out on the rover?

User avatar
Smivs
Retired Assassin
Retired Assassin
Posts: 8408
Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2010 11:31 am
Location: Disunited Kingdom
Contact:

Re: Life on Mars?

Post by Smivs »

Hehe, I thought the image on the 'nasa' site :wink: was very persuasive :lol:
Commander Smivs, the friendliest Gourd this side of Riedquat.

User avatar
ClymAngus
---- E L I T E ----
---- E L I T E ----
Posts: 2508
Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2008 12:31 am
Location: London England
Contact:

Re: Life on Mars?

Post by ClymAngus »

http://www.ndtv.com/article/world/curio ... ars-280996

So gents, here is the question, if you have a sample robot peeing plastic shards willy nilly. How in the name of sam hill do you take a clean sample when your tool for sampling is polluting it?

It's like using a dirty chicken soup ladle to "sample" salad, then from that sample state that salad comes from chickens. It's just not going to work.....

User avatar
CommRLock78
---- E L I T E ----
---- E L I T E ----
Posts: 1132
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2012 7:35 pm
Location: US
Contact:

Re: Life on Mars?

Post by CommRLock78 »

ClymAngus wrote:http://www.ndtv.com/article/world/curio ... ars-280996

So gents, here is the question, if you have a sample robot peeing plastic shards willy nilly. How in the name of sam hill do you take a clean sample when your tool for sampling is polluting it?

It's like using a dirty chicken soup ladle to "sample" salad, then from that sample state that salad comes from chickens. It's just not going to work.....
Well, even the articles concedes that they still aren't completely sure. It is hard for me to believe that something engineered for over a decade would be poopin' plastic all over the place - and if it is, the team should be ashamed of themselves for building such a POS as to begin human pollution on another planet.
"I'll laser the mark all while munching a fistful of popcorn." - Markgräf von Ededleen, Marquess, Brutal Great One, Assassins' Guild Exterminator
---------------------------
At the helm of the Caduceus Omega, 'Murderous Morrígan'

User avatar
Commander McLane
Intergalactic Spam Assassin
Intergalactic Spam Assassin
Posts: 9520
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2006 9:08 am
Location: a Hacker Outpost in a moderately remote area
Contact:

Re: Life on Mars?

Post by Commander McLane »

Smivs wrote:Hehe, I thought the image on the 'nasa' site :wink: was very persuasive :lol:
I'm only getting an error 500. :( What was the picture?

User avatar
Cody
Sharp Shooter Spam Assassin
Sharp Shooter Spam Assassin
Posts: 13805
Joined: Sat Jul 04, 2009 9:31 pm
Location: Corke's Drift
Contact:

Re: Life on Mars?

Post by Cody »

Commander McLane wrote:I'm only getting an error 500. What was the picture?
I think it was this stupid picture.

User avatar
CommRLock78
---- E L I T E ----
---- E L I T E ----
Posts: 1132
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2012 7:35 pm
Location: US
Contact:

Re: Life on Mars?

Post by CommRLock78 »

El Viejo wrote:
Commander McLane wrote:I'm only getting an error 500. What was the picture?
I think it was this stupid picture.
Stupid is an understatement :lol:. That picture is ridiculously lame and feeble - about as fake as you can get :D.

Edit: Thank you El Viejo for not embedding that image into the post - no one needs to see that more than once ;).
"I'll laser the mark all while munching a fistful of popcorn." - Markgräf von Ededleen, Marquess, Brutal Great One, Assassins' Guild Exterminator
---------------------------
At the helm of the Caduceus Omega, 'Murderous Morrígan'

Post Reply