Tag Archives: Mars

Life on Mars: Curiosity finds a promising lake bed

After about two decades of poking around Mars, it’s clear that scientists don’t expect to find life, certainly not on the surface [SciTechStory: Life on Mars: If it exists, is below the surface]. There are no Martian yetis, or if any life at all, nothing bigger than a bacteria – probably living deep below the […]
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“Gray Mars” and the stuff of life

Rover Curiosity’s bore hole in Mars rock, note color change from reddish to gray Scientific knowledge requires a process of confirmation, for example, scientists have believed for decades that Mars had water and may still have it either in ice form or in the underground. This belief started with observations drawn from Mars photographs from […]
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Inspiration Mars: Suicide gets good PR

It is very difficult not to be cynical about the “Inspiration Mars” project outlined by space pioneer and multimillionaire Dennis Tito. The basic idea is to launch a spacecraft in 2018 with two people in it that will circle around Mars and come back. Easy to describe in one sentence, but… As just about every […]
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Earth bacteria can survive in a least some Mars conditions

To quote from a movie (Jurassic Park), “Life finds a way.” So far, there is no sign of life on Mars. Water, yes, but not life. At least at or near the surface, Mars is a very inhospitable place for life. It is dry, so dry the Sahara is a sauna by comparison. It is […]
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Curiosity has just begun

About a quarter million people were watching NASA TV as the Mars rover Curiosity was put down on the surface of Mars. Not bad for 1:30AM on the east coast of the U.S. The room at JPL mission headquarters exploded with shouts, cheers and cries of joy. Of course, these men and a few women […]
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Off to Mars. Yes and no.

It hasn’t escaped notice that the Russians (with a Chinese probe) tried sending a mission to Mars, Fobos-Grunt-Yinghuo, which spluttered into low Earth orbit and presumably will fall back to Earth. Meanwhile, NASA the U.S. space agency lofted another Mars mission, MSL Curiosity, that is happily on its way to the Red Planet. If this […]
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New evidence for liquid water on Mars

The possible seasonal rills of running water on Mars……Credit: NASA, JPL Earth has lots of liquid water, like oceans of it – though salty. Why would people be excited by briny water on Mars? However, for those intrepid, dreaming human beings who think of traveling to Mars and one day pitching camp there, the news […]
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Mars water: What’s all the fuss?

Seventh in a series of posts inspired by ten topics in ‘Insights of the Decade’ from the December 17, 2010 special issue of Science Magazine The topics are: Inflammation, climatology, tricks of light, alien planets, the microbiome, cell reprogramming, Martian water, the DNA time machine, cosmology and epigenetics. The original articles are now behind a […]
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Biogeology: A deep subject

Way down deep, below the lowest depths of the oceans, below the floor of the seas – in the rock of the ocean crust – there exists a world with life. It’s been known for some time that bacteria can live in rock. According to the research done by Martin Fisk and colleagues at the […]
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Mars rover Spirit: Trapped but contributing to water story

Disturbed soil surrounding the Mars rover Spirit…….Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell A heading for this story could be: Dead Spirit reports from a moist grave. Almost technically correct but too much wordplay. The reality is more prosaic and potentially more important. The issue is water on Mars. Evidence is overwhelming that Mars had, as in two billion years […]
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