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Thread: Phoenix, Mars, water, the moon

  1. #1 Phoenix, Mars, water, the moon 
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    The rationale for Phoenix is that the water-ice/soil interface may be a zone where we will find indications (such as organic substances) of past life. Soil analyses are planned for samples through a depth horizon.

    Water ice also exists on the moon, and I am curious if NASA has done similar analyses on the moon. I recall moon rocks being brought back some years ago, though these may not have been in the area of ice. The moon originated from the earth, so perhaps there is less compulsion to analyse the surface layers around the water ice.

    I am curious for information along these lines?


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  3. #2  
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    I doubt that Phoenix can really shed light on the question of life on Mars. At best, this probe will find ice and organic molecules. But this wouldn't be a strong surprise, because even open space contains vast amounts of organic molecules - and I doubt that anyone would assume life could have evolved in gas clouds. Don't get me wrong: it would be a great scientific achievement, but - as usual - hugely exaggerated and over-interpreted by NASA.

    And concerning water ice on moon: I am afraid, the evidence is not as compelling as you think. Yes, there have been fancy press releases by NASA claiming to have found evidence for this, but the contradicting results were published in a not so fancy manner. Here is a site at NASA with a few links at the bottom of that page.


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  4. #3  
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    Which of the links say that there is no ice on the moon? The ones I visited all concur that ice is present.

    Cheers
    FR
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    Quote Originally Posted by free radical
    Which of the links say that there is no ice on the moon? The ones I visited all concur that ice is present.

    Cheers
    FR
    This one: NO WATER ICE DETECTED FROM LUNAR PROSPECTOR IMPACT
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  6. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dishmaster
    - and I doubt that anyone would assume life could have evolved in gas clouds..
    Apart from me and Fred Hoyle.
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  7. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dishmaster
    I doubt that Phoenix can really shed light on the question of life on Mars. At best, this probe will find ice and organic molecules.
    It's going to dig down... capable of a meter or more if I'm not mistaken. The images alone are likely to intrigue us and shed light, as surface images did. How can we not learn from this?

    I guess it'll be checking the lattice of ice samples, to learn how that ice formed. Good to know!
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  8. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    It's going to dig down... capable of a meter or more if I'm not mistaken. The images alone are likely to intrigue us and shed light, as surface images did. How can we not learn from this?

    I guess it'll be checking the lattice of ice samples, to learn how that ice formed. Good to know!
    Yes, I totally agree. This is a scientific mission that will generate great results. But what I don't like is that the expected outcome is often exaggerated. NASA's public relation office has quite a reputation in that respect. This probe can only find organic molecules. This is far away from any statement regarding the possibility of life on Mars.
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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dishmaster
    This probe can only find organic molecules.
    ...or with the scoop slice a worm in two and video the squirming end. Well, you know what I mean. The value of pictures is difficult to state, but it's real enough.
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  10. #9  
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    Cheers for th e link. Sounds like the water may or may not be present.

    In a low-budget attempt to wring one last bit of
    scientific productivity from the low-cost Lunar
    Prospector mission, NASA worked with engineers and
    astronomers at the University of Texas to precisely crash
    the barrel-shaped spacecraft into a specific shadowed
    crater. NASA accepted the team's proposal based on
    successful scientific peer review of the idea and the
    pending end of the spacecraft's useful life, although the
    chances of positive detection of water were judged to be
    less than 10 percent.
    Assuming it is present, have we done similar analyses on lunar samples as are being planned for Mars? Have we looked for biosignatures in the surface and immediate subsurface... if not, why not.

    Cheers,

    FR
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  11. #10  
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    Because, unlike mars, the moon has never had any form of an atmosphere.
    "It's no wonder that truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction has to make sense." - Mark Twain
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    This is a link to the Japanese probe Kaguya (SELENE) which is looking for water ice on the moon (among other things) right now.
    http://wms.selene.jaxa.jp/index_e.html
    (There is supposed to be an archive of HD videos of the moon taken by Kaguya from orbit, but they are rather difficult to access, so good luck!)

    Recently, the Cassini probe orbited through the plume of a geyser on Enceladus and found water, carbon dioxide and other organic molecules present. These probes and groups like SETI are trying to find the ‘easy’ life in the cosmos. Like a prospector who doesn’t have the budget for a geological survey or a deep mine shaft, we’re “panning for gold and hoping to strike it rich”.
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    A geyser that hit the cassini probe in orbit? How deep do the panetary geologists think the permafrost is (if any)? I thought that Mars was supposed to be pretty dead inside (cooled I mean)?
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle
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  14. #13  
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperNatendo
    Because, unlike mars, the moon has never had any form of an atmosphere.
    Hmm. Yes, that would be a good reason. Cheers!
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    A geyser that hit the cassini probe in orbit? How deep do the panetary geologists think the permafrost is (if any)? I thought that Mars was supposed to be pretty dead inside (cooled I mean)?
    http://www.aanda.org/index.php?optio...aa5773-06.html

    Cassini Orbits Saturn, and the geysers are on Enceledus. (one of Saturn's moons). A mission is being considered for Enceledus, but may not be approved.
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  16. #15  
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    Oh.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle
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    Thanks! I thought I mentioned the part about Enceladus. :wink:
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  18. #17  
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    Damn!!! The Yeti beat us to Mars. There's proof......look HERE
    I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by
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  19. #18  
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperNatendo
    Because, unlike mars, the moon has never had any form of an atmosphere.
    Subsurface life doesn't need or necessarily create an atmosphere.
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  20. #19  
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperNatendo
    Because, unlike mars, the moon has never had any form of an atmosphere.
    Well, not true actually. Otherwise how do you explain these 486 papers on the lunar atmosphere?

    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/np...e%22&version=1
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  21. #20  
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    I read once that most of the lunar atmosphere is the remains of the exhaust from the Apollo landers' rockets.
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  22. #21  
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    Great findings from Phoenix:

    "We basically have found what appears to be the requirements, the nutrients, to support life, whether past, present or future," said Sam Kounaves, the project's lead chemist, from the University of Arizona.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7477310.stm

    Also:

    "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."
    http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/ph...-20080626.html

    Wheeeee!
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    So, pretty much, minus the problem of the atmosphere, we could literally take earth PLANTS there and grow them right in Martian soil!!!!

    This is an incredible finding indeed!

    If we do not find simple celled life there I see nothing stopping us from Terra-forming whatsoever! If we do find fossilized simple-celled life thats a plus, but if we find simple-celled life still surviving, some major debate is going to occur let me tell you!

    And as far as greenhouses go they better be planning to do that as soon as we land Or I'm going to be very disappointed!! No need to bring our own soil or water, just our own nutrients until we can start to recycle the dead plant material as it accumulates!

    "On Earth, asparagus, green beans and turnips could be planted in such an environment and chemical-loving bacteria would thrive there"

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,372481,00.html
    "It's no wonder that truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction has to make sense." - Mark Twain
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  24. #23  
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperNatendo
    "On Earth, asparagus, green beans and turnips could be planted in such an environment and chemical-loving bacteria would thrive there"
    Since Mars is the Red Planet, should we not restrict early plantings to carrots?
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  25. #24  
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    Well, if we must stick to a red-theme carrots are good, but some turnips still fit the red category! And what about beets? They are close enough to turnips, they would probably grow too, or maybe red potatoes? Those would taste better!

    Can you imagine? Some rich entrepreneur could pay a bunch of horticulturist astronauts to cultivate farmland up there and rich people on earth would probably pay good money to eat Martian Grown Produce!
    "It's no wonder that truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction has to make sense." - Mark Twain
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  26. #25  
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperNatendo
    if we find simple-celled life still surviving, some major debate is going to occur let me tell you!
    Yes. Would inoculating Mars with our Earth microbes, despite existing life, be "eco-terrorism"? Do you know which side you're on?


    I dunno about surface plants. Not for a long time if ever. First we'll have to plant crap not carrots. Same goes for the water moons. The most expedient initiative I think is to indiscriminately dump all sorts of Earth sh!t - a bit of everything, everywhere - and see what takes. Can we set a bad system that way though? For example start a process toxic to higher life?
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    We already have contaminated mars with earth microbes… that’s for sure… if we eventually find life later on, we may not be able to know if it’s Martian or terrestrial.
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  28. #27  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Quote Originally Posted by SuperNatendo
    if we find simple-celled life still surviving, some major debate is going to occur let me tell you!
    Yes. Would inoculating Mars with our Earth microbes, despite existing life, be "eco-terrorism"? Do you know which side you're on?


    I dunno about surface plants. Not for a long time if ever. First we'll have to plant crap not carrots. Same goes for the water moons. The most expedient initiative I think is to indiscriminately dump all sorts of Earth sh!t - a bit of everything, everywhere - and see what takes. Can we set a bad system that way though? For example start a process toxic to higher life?
    Like I said, no soil or water, just nutrients. Some crap is full of nutrients, thats why it is used here for growing things, some crap is not the proper ph, or is low in nutrients. This is why "artificial" nutrients exist on the market, to ensure the proper mix. But, as we grow crops in Martian soil in a greenhouse, which after the information we have gathered from phoenix has been shown to in fact be possible right away, when the plants die their organic matter will be recycled by the other plants and eventually you stop having to bring nutrients from earth with you to mars.
    "It's no wonder that truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction has to make sense." - Mark Twain
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    There's plenty of water on the Moon. This engineer at Lockheed-Martin figured out a process that can be used to get water out of ordinary moon rock. Of course, I don't know if the water will be radio-active. There's probably a lot of Hydrogen isotopes embedded in it from the solar wind.
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  30. #29  
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    There's plenty of water on the Moon. This engineer at Lockheed-Martin figured out a process that can be used to get water out of ordinary moon rock. Of course, I don't know if the water will be radio-active. There's probably a lot of Hydrogen isotopes embedded in it from the solar wind.
    Let us be strictly correct. There is little or no water on the moon. There may be some, permanently frozen, at the bottom of deep lunar craters, and at the poles. (I think the local geography tends to rule out the North Pole.)

    While oxygen could be readily extracted from lunar rocks and combined with hydrogen imported from Earth, I am unaware of any method for extracting water from these. Can you provide a reference?
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  31. #30  
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    If you start this video clip about about 2:55, it explains what I'm talking about in detail. It's taken from a documentary called "Moon for Sale" that has been aired several times on the Science Channel. Every now and again they re-run it during off hours.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZBChhfkU7k8

    Basically water is present as a very small % composition of all (or most) lunar rock. Extracting it is a difficult process, but possible. You'd never be able to create an ocean, but extracting it little by little you could get enough of it to give yourself a supply.
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  32. #31 Re: Phoenix, Mars, water, the moon 
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    Quote Originally Posted by free radical
    The rationale for Phoenix is that the water-ice/soil interface may be a zone where we will find indications (such as organic substances) of past life. Soil analyses are planned for samples through a depth horizon.

    Water ice also exists on the moon, and I am curious if NASA has done similar analyses on the moon. I recall moon rocks being brought back some years ago, though these may not have been in the area of ice. The moon originated from the earth, so perhaps there is less compulsion to analyse the surface layers around the water ice.

    I am curious for information along these lines?
    NASA did not get to the moon.
    Yes is ice on the moon , but the moon did not originate from earth , is just a test tube for it.
    Solomon Grundy
    In 1944, this creature rose from the swamp, with tremendous strength and some dormant memories that for example allowed him to speak English, but not knowing what he was, and not remembering Cyrus Gold or his fate. Wandering throughout the swamp, he encountered two escaped criminals, killed them, and took their clothes. When they asked him his name, he simply muttered that he had been born on Monday. Reminded of an old nursery rhyme about a man born on Monday, the thugs named the creature "Solomon Grundy".
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  33. #32  
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperNatendo
    But, as we grow crops in Martian soil in a greenhouse ... when the plants die their organic matter will be recycled by the other plants and eventually you stop having to bring nutrients from earth with you to mars.
    Ah, but your means depends on so many meters of glass, imported soil amendments, and good old human elbow grease every step of the way. Mine is just to catalyze AKA inoculate the subsoil with ...anything and everything... that will yield a more fertile soil over time, by it's own effort (reproduction, evolution). And I guess our ultimate harvest there will be subsoil too... some kind of mushroom or insect protein..?
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  34. #33  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Quote Originally Posted by SuperNatendo
    But, as we grow crops in Martian soil in a greenhouse ... when the plants die their organic matter will be recycled by the other plants and eventually you stop having to bring nutrients from earth with you to mars.
    Ah, but your means depends on so many meters of glass, imported soil amendments, and good old human elbow grease every step of the way. Mine is just to catalyze AKA inoculate the subsoil with ...anything and everything... that will yield a more fertile soil over time, by it's own effort (reproduction, evolution). And I guess our ultimate harvest there will be subsoil too... some kind of mushroom or insect protein..?
    So what if we do ?
    Solomon Grundy
    In 1944, this creature rose from the swamp, with tremendous strength and some dormant memories that for example allowed him to speak English, but not knowing what he was, and not remembering Cyrus Gold or his fate. Wandering throughout the swamp, he encountered two escaped criminals, killed them, and took their clothes. When they asked him his name, he simply muttered that he had been born on Monday. Reminded of an old nursery rhyme about a man born on Monday, the thugs named the creature "Solomon Grundy".
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  35. #34  
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    Well, if you enjoy foods like tofu and krill paste, now, yer laughing. :-D
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