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Thread: Water on Mars

  1. #1 Water on Mars 
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    Heey guys,

    my name is Sophie and a while ago I've started writing on mobile robotics. This week I've been occupying myself with the Mars Rovers, especially our latest friend Curiosity.

    Our believe has always been that there once was water on Mars, and now this has actually been confirmed by Curiosity. Not too long ago NASA published a report of all the robots' activities since its extraordinary landing. Most of it is check-up procedures, but it also came up with this soil analysis. Although it is not freely accessible the Martian soil contains a significant amount of water (about 2%), as well as sulphur dioxide, carbon dioxide and oxygen.

    Can we in the future expect more revelations of this kind from Curiosity? Might it even find some fossilized form of microorganisms? I realize it might be a cliché question, and it's been discussed over and over. But with the prospects that Curiosity has in store, we might be surprised.


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    Curiosity's mission is to explore the past environment of Mars. So long as you have reasonable expectation (ie, no little green men) there is a lot more in store from this amazing rover. In my mind, its biggest success was simply the fact that it was built and landed on Mars. Everything else is pretty much icing on the cake.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Soophanne View Post
    Can we in the future expect more revelations of this kind from Curiosity? Might it even find some fossilized form of microorganisms? I realize it might be a cliché question, and it's been discussed over and over. But with the prospects that Curiosity has in store, we might be surprised.

    If Mars harbors genuine fossilized (remains of) microorganisms (i.e. it are not artifacts) and they are detected by the Curiosity rover,
    then that would be one of the greatest discoveries ever made.
    It would spawn many papers in respected science journals and it would urge us to rethink "life".
    One of the questions that I ask myself, is whether it would me more interesting if the microorganisms resemble terrestrial life or if they do not resemble terrestrial life at all.

    But at the end of the day, these are highly speculative statements and I could be as wrong as claiming that chemtrails are genuine.
    Whatever Curiosity will find on Mars, it will be worthy of investigation.


    PS: Welcome to the Science Forum.
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  5. #4  
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    Hi Sophie ...I posted this in the random chat thread, not sure where to post it as a stand alone topic, but looks like it might coincide with your topic, here. It's pretty interesting. Did Life on Earth Come From Mars?
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    Does not anyone wonder how Martian water would taste like?
    "The only safe rule is to dispute only with those of your acquaintance of whom you know that they possess sufficient intelligence and self-respect not to advance absurdities; to appeal to reason and not to authority, and to listen to reason and yield to it; and, finally, to be willing to accept reason even from an opponent, and to be just enough to bear being proved to be in the wrong."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cogito Ergo Sum View Post
    Does not anyone wonder how Martian water would taste like?
    Irony.
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    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.

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    Wild guess though.
    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
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    I stated on the random chat post that this news was not really new and the scientist knew or at least read it from the ancient script on the walls of the pyramids. I really can't find the information; I had saved it but lost it maybe because my hard drive crashed. The question is still being asked how the ancient Egyptian knew so much about the planets and the universe at large. Every now and again some tit bits of information pop up and we think it’s new. Someone said no way could the Egyptians know such things unless they had the probes that is being used today. Obviously they knew something we do not know and just finding out.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stargate View Post
    I stated on the random chat post that this news was not really new
    But you're wrong.

    and the scientist knew or at least read it from the ancient script on the walls of the pyramids
    No they didn't.
    Stop reading crank sites/ books.

    Someone said no way could the Egyptians know such things unless they had the probes that is being used today. Obviously they knew something we do not know and just finding out.
    Wrong again: obviously you're exceedingly gullible.
    The Egyptians didn't know this.
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  11. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cogito Ergo Sum View Post

    If Mars harbors genuine fossilized (remains of) microorganisms (i.e. it are not artifacts) and they are detected by the Curiosity rover,
    then that would be one of the greatest discoveries ever made.
    It would spawn many papers in respected science journals and it would urge us to rethink "life".
    One of the questions that I ask myself, is whether it would me more interesting if the microorganisms resemble terrestrial life or if they do not resemble terrestrial life at all.
    Thanks!

    I wonder in case they find anything, if they would just publish it like that, the potential impact is so big. As you say we would start to rethink life. As far as I understand the circumstances for any sort of life are similar, although in different proportions as explained in the National Geographic article that wegs posted. So I would expect them to resemble.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Cogito Ergo Sum View Post
    Does not anyone wonder how Martian water would taste like?
    Irony.
    No chalk found yet as far as I know, so that should definitely benefit the taste.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soophanne View Post
    Heey guys, my name is Sophie and a while ago I've started writing on mobile robotics. This week I've been occupying myself with the Mars Rovers, especially our latest friend Curiosity. Our believe has always been that there once was water on Mars, and now this has actually been confirmed by Curiosity. Not too long ago NASA published a report of all the robots' activities since its extraordinary landing. Most of it is check-up procedures, but it also came up with this soil analysis. Although it is not freely accessible the Martian soil contains a significant amount of water (about 2%), as well as sulphur dioxide, carbon dioxide and oxygen. Can we in the future expect more revelations of this kind from Curiosity? Might it even find some fossilized form of microorganisms? I realize it might be a cliché question, and it's been discussed over and over. But with the prospects that Curiosity has in store, we might be surprised.
    Curiosity isn't equipped as a life seeking rover. At best, Curiosity might provide evidence of hints of life. Curiosity has been a great technological success. However, my fellow geologists and I were somewhat disappointed from the very first photo. Definitely not the type of rocks conducive to organic sediments. Moving a few kms is unlikely to be far enough to result in a change of surface chemistry. A landing site 25 or a hundred kms away may have been all the difference.Evidence to date is that Mars is barren and always has been. Zip. However, lots more to explore.

    I work in paleontology and can state that Viking, Curiosity, etc. might not have found evidence of life on Earth if they had randomly landed here. Their capabilities are quite limited...especially what they can relay to Earth. There is definite possibility to still find some type of microbial life on Mars.

    Re water and heat. One can boil water on the stove...it doesn't create life. Water is a ingredient for life but just one piece of a puzzle.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soophanne View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Cogito Ergo Sum View Post

    If Mars harbors genuine fossilized (remains of) microorganisms (i.e. it are not artifacts) and they are detected by the Curiosity rover,
    then that would be one of the greatest discoveries ever made.
    It would spawn many papers in respected science journals and it would urge us to rethink "life".
    One of the questions that I ask myself, is whether it would me more interesting if the microorganisms resemble terrestrial life or if they do not resemble terrestrial life at all.
    Thanks!

    I wonder in case they find anything, if they would just publish it like that, the potential impact is so big. As you say we would start to rethink life. As far as I understand the circumstances for any sort of life are similar, although in different proportions as explained in the National Geographic article that wegs posted. So I would expect them to resemble.

    If such a finding would be confirmed by scientists, then it would not be "just" published. The discovery will be mentioned on reports and in review journals; it will be a subject in scientific debates and meetings; researchers will publish books in which they describe the discovery for laymen and future researchers will subject the planet and the specimen to more research. It will be similar to the confirmation of the existence of the Higgs Boson in March 2013, or the description of the DNA structure in 1953 by Watson and Crick.

    Concerning the similarity of Martian life (if it exists), I cannot state anything meaningful due to a lack of information.
    I do have to ask, to what circumstances are you referring?
    "The only safe rule is to dispute only with those of your acquaintance of whom you know that they possess sufficient intelligence and self-respect not to advance absurdities; to appeal to reason and not to authority, and to listen to reason and yield to it; and, finally, to be willing to accept reason even from an opponent, and to be just enough to bear being proved to be in the wrong."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fossilborealis View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Soophanne View Post
    Heey guys, my name is Sophie and a while ago I've started writing on mobile robotics. This week I've been occupying myself with the Mars Rovers, especially our latest friend Curiosity. Our believe has always been that there once was water on Mars, and now this has actually been confirmed by Curiosity. Not too long ago NASA published a report of all the robots' activities since its extraordinary landing. Most of it is check-up procedures, but it also came up with this soil analysis. Although it is not freely accessible the Martian soil contains a significant amount of water (about 2%), as well as sulphur dioxide, carbon dioxide and oxygen. Can we in the future expect more revelations of this kind from Curiosity? Might it even find some fossilized form of microorganisms? I realize it might be a cliché question, and it's been discussed over and over. But with the prospects that Curiosity has in store, we might be surprised.
    Curiosity isn't equipped as a life seeking rover. At best, Curiosity might provide evidence of hints of life. Curiosity has been a great technological success. However, my fellow geologists and I were somewhat disappointed from the very first photo. Definitely not the type of rocks conducive to organic sediments. Moving a few kms is unlikely to be far enough to result in a change of surface chemistry. A landing site 25 or a hundred kms away may have been all the difference.Evidence to date is that Mars is barren and always has been. Zip. However, lots more to explore.

    I work in paleontology and can state that Viking, Curiosity, etc. might not have found evidence of life on Earth if they had randomly landed here. Their capabilities are quite limited...especially what they can relay to Earth. There is definite possibility to still find some type of microbial life on Mars.

    Re water and heat. One can boil water on the stove...it doesn't create life. Water is a ingredient for life but just one piece of a puzzle.
    So what you're saying is...we need to land man on Mars
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    Quote Originally Posted by mat5592 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Fossilborealis View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Soophanne View Post
    Heey guys, my name is Sophie and a while ago I've started writing on mobile robotics. This week I've been occupying myself with the Mars Rovers, especially our latest friend Curiosity. Our believe has always been that there once was water on Mars, and now this has actually been confirmed by Curiosity. Not too long ago NASA published a report of all the robots' activities since its extraordinary landing. Most of it is check-up procedures, but it also came up with this soil analysis. Although it is not freely accessible the Martian soil contains a significant amount of water (about 2%), as well as sulphur dioxide, carbon dioxide and oxygen. Can we in the future expect more revelations of this kind from Curiosity? Might it even find some fossilized form of microorganisms? I realize it might be a cliché question, and it's been discussed over and over. But with the prospects that Curiosity has in store, we might be surprised.
    Curiosity isn't equipped as a life seeking rover. At best, Curiosity might provide evidence of hints of life. Curiosity has been a great technological success. However, my fellow geologists and I were somewhat disappointed from the very first photo. Definitely not the type of rocks conducive to organic sediments. Moving a few kms is unlikely to be far enough to result in a change of surface chemistry. A landing site 25 or a hundred kms away may have been all the difference.Evidence to date is that Mars is barren and always has been. Zip. However, lots more to explore. I work in paleontology and can state that Viking, Curiosity, etc. might not have found evidence of life on Earth if they had randomly landed here. Their capabilities are quite limited...especially what they can relay to Earth. There is definite possibility to still find some type of microbial life on Mars. Re water and heat. One can boil water on the stove...it doesn't create life. Water is a ingredient for life but just one piece of a puzzle.
    So what you're saying is...we need to land man on Mars
    Not at all. We just need better remote technology. Actually, we have some of it already but the cost is prohibitive. The Planetary Society and NASA estimate a sample return mission at about 7 billion dollars but nothing concrete on the table...would have to start nuts and bolts in the next year for 2024 launch. However, 2024 is probably over optimistic and 2028 or so more likely. Even then, NASA has about a 60% percent confidence level in a successful mission.


    However, no intent by NASA to take funding away from designated projects on the books....and there is a shrinking budget. A sample return would gobble up funding for Jupiter mission, etc.

    as for people. No plans to send anyone to Mars. Even manned mission to the Moon was scrapped. A man on way out there in the future somewhere.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fossilborealis View Post
    Not at all. We just need better remote technology. Actually, we have some of it already but the cost is prohibitive. The Planetary Society and NASA estimate a sample return mission at about 7 billion dollars but nothing concrete on the table...would have to start nuts and bolts in the next year for 2024 launch. However, 2024 is probably over optimistic and 2028 or so more likely. Even then, NASA has about a 60% percent confidence level in a successful mission.

    I have even less faith in the goal of the private organisation Mars One.
    Next, I also think that 2024 is too optimistic, but 2028 seems more likely.
    "The only safe rule is to dispute only with those of your acquaintance of whom you know that they possess sufficient intelligence and self-respect not to advance absurdities; to appeal to reason and not to authority, and to listen to reason and yield to it; and, finally, to be willing to accept reason even from an opponent, and to be just enough to bear being proved to be in the wrong."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cogito Ergo Sum View Post
    Does not anyone wonder how Martian water would taste like?
    metallic
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhDemon View Post
    I'd rather have a V-8!
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    Here are some disconnected thoughts.

    Were we to find Martian life the question would be is it similar? If it were significantly different - for exmple, not based on DNA - then that would greatly increase our assessment of the probability of alien life in general. If it were quite similar then two possibilities exist:
    1. It demonstrates that when life arises it has relatively narrow field of possibilities for its character.
    2. It demonstrates that life originated on one of the two planets and moved to the other - most likely Mars to Earth because of the lower escape
    velocity.

    The discovery of mircobial life would be greeted, largely, by a great yawn from the public. Half the US population believe in aliens visiting us in UFOs, so they won't be impressed by a bunch of Martian microbes.

    I re-emphasise the fact that Curiosity is not designed to find life, but to find the conditions that might have favoured life.



    I still believe that NASA was cavalier in their dismissal of the substantial evidence of biological activity from the Viking landers. Two of the three experiments produced results that, prior to the landing, had been agreed would be evidence of life. These were ultimately rejected because the GCMS failed to detect organic material. Questions were raised, and some think remain, about the sensitivity of that tool.

    In my view the correct response would have been a follow up mission with improved experiments/instrumentation to clarify the situation. Instead NASA retreated from looking for life and spawned an industry of researchers inventing complex ways to explain the results without resorting to biology. If extant life is ultimately found then that decision will go down as the greatest missed opportunity of the space age to date.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Here are some disconnected thoughts.

    Were we to find Martian life the question would be is it similar? If it were significantly different - for exmple, not based on DNA - then that would greatly increase our assessment of the probability of alien life in general. If it were quite similar then two possibilities exist:
    1. It demonstrates that when life arises it has relatively narrow field of possibilities for its character.
    2. It demonstrates that life originated on one of the two planets and moved to the other - most likely Mars to Earth because of the lower escape
    velocity.

    The discovery of mircobial life would be greeted, largely, by a great yawn from the public. Half the US population believe in aliens visiting us in UFOs, so they won't be impressed by a bunch of Martian microbes.

    I re-emphasise the fact that Curiosity is not designed to find life, but to find the conditions that might have favoured life.



    I still believe that NASA was cavalier in their dismissal of the substantial evidence of biological activity from the Viking landers. Two of the three experiments produced results that, prior to the landing, had been agreed would be evidence of life. These were ultimately rejected because the GCMS failed to detect organic material. Questions were raised, and some think remain, about the sensitivity of that tool.

    In my view the correct response would have been a follow up mission with improved experiments/instrumentation to clarify the situation. Instead NASA retreated from looking for life and spawned an industry of researchers inventing complex ways to explain the results without resorting to biology. If extant life is ultimately found then that decision will go down as the greatest missed opportunity of the space age to date.
    Some good and interetesting points, Mr. Galt. A good friend was an astronaut at NASA but in engine propulsion stuff.......and he might have been able to answer a question if I asked. He unfortunately passed away in July, so my to go to guy is well....gone.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cogito Ergo Sum View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Fossilborealis View Post
    Not at all. We just need better remote technology. Actually, we have some of it already but the cost is prohibitive. The Planetary Society and NASA estimate a sample return mission at about 7 billion dollars but nothing concrete on the table...would have to start nuts and bolts in the next year for 2024 launch. However, 2024 is probably over optimistic and 2028 or so more likely. Even then, NASA has about a 60% percent confidence level in a successful mission.
    I have even less faith in the goal of the private organisation Mars One.Next, I also think that 2024 is too optimistic, but 2028 seems more likely.
    A sample return mission is not a manned mission. Mars one (fantasy) is about a manned mission. Sample return is returning a few rocks to Earth via an unmanned rocket (no technology for it yet).China has hinted at a sample return by 2032 but, again, they have nothing on the books. This is really involved technology that needs a couple decades of hardware development.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cogito Ergo Sum View Post
    Does not anyone wonder how Martian water would taste like?
    MARSvelous!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Cogito Ergo Sum View Post
    Does not anyone wonder how Martian water would taste like?
    MARSvelous!

    The taste would be out of this world.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fossilborealis View Post
    A sample return mission is not a manned mission. Mars one (fantasy) is about a manned mission. Sample return is returning a few rocks to Earth via an unmanned rocket (no technology for it yet).China has hinted at a sample return by 2032 but, again, they have nothing on the books. This is really involved technology that needs a couple decades of hardware development.

    I must have missed that. My apologies.
    "The only safe rule is to dispute only with those of your acquaintance of whom you know that they possess sufficient intelligence and self-respect not to advance absurdities; to appeal to reason and not to authority, and to listen to reason and yield to it; and, finally, to be willing to accept reason even from an opponent, and to be just enough to bear being proved to be in the wrong."

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    There seems to be an arrogant position that ancient cultures knew nothing about the stars, galaxies, or anything to do with cosmology. There is still a number of questions out there to be answered about how the Egyptians knew about the position of the stars, how they knew about the constellation of Orion they used to build their pyramids. It is inconceivable that all the other cultures were so dumb that they did not know if life started from another planet and came to earth. There are so many things hidden from people that are just coming to light. The type of technology used today is relatively new, until the use of telescopes the knowledge of the galaxy was a mystery for most scientist. A lot of the information now available was taken from past civilizations and used as if it is new.
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    Pardon my confusion, but what the hell are you talking about?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stargate View Post
    There seems to be an arrogant position that ancient cultures knew nothing about the stars, galaxies, or anything to do with cosmology.
    Who do you think takes this position? Certainly not the students of astronomy who are routinely taught about the astronomical work of the ancients.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stargate View Post
    There is still a number of questions out there to be answered about how the Egyptians knew about the position of the stars, how they knew about the constellation of Orion they used to build their pyramids.
    Well I lived in Egypt for four years and think the points you raise are evidence of one of two things: either the ancient Egyptians were able to bend their necks and look up, or they had discovered how to lie down on the ground on their backs.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    Pardon my confusion, but what the hell are you talking about?
    Post #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Stargate View Post
    There seems to be an arrogant position that ancient cultures knew nothing about the stars, galaxies, or anything to do with cosmology.
    Who do you think takes this position? Certainly not the students of astronomy who are routinely taught about the astronomical work of the ancients.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stargate View Post
    There is still a number of questions out there to be answered about how the Egyptians knew about the position of the stars, how they knew about the constellation of Orion they used to build their pyramids.
    Well I lived in Egypt for four years and think the points you raise are evidence of one of two things: either the ancient Egyptians were able to bend their necks and look up, or they had discovered how to lie down on the ground on their backs.
    I guess they were able to do both and more. I do not doubt you lived in Egypt although it says nothing about you knowing what the Egyptians knew. I was not really referring to the people who studied ancient history so much, I was referring to some people on the forum who seem to think ancient cultures knew nothing. I read some time ago that the Egyptians knew that people came from planet Mars and started some life form here. I did save it but it was some time ago and I have been looking for it to show that this information is not new. At the time I did not think too much of it but now that it has resurfaced people think its new.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stargate View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    Pardon my confusion, but what the hell are you talking about?
    Post #9
    You're either being thick or deceitful.
    Your claim - the one I was replying to - was that the ancient Egyptians knew that life on Earth had originated on Mars.
    That has nothing whatsoever to do with seeing Orion or other constellations.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stargate View Post
    I read some time ago that the Egyptians knew that people came from planet Mars and started some life form here. I did save it but it was some time ago and I have been looking for it to show that this information is not new. At the time I did not think too much of it but now that it has resurfaced people think its new.
    If the Egyptians did believe this then you are confirming that some of the ideas they had were purest nonsense. It is admirable of you to demonstrate they were capable of gross error and we should therefore be sceptical of all they say.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Stargate View Post
    I read some time ago that the Egyptians knew that people came from planet Mars and started some life form here. I did save it but it was some time ago and I have been looking for it to show that this information is not new. At the time I did not think too much of it but now that it has resurfaced people think its new.
    If the Egyptians did believe this then you are confirming that some of the ideas they had were purest nonsense. It is admirable of you to demonstrate they were capable of gross error and we should therefore be sceptical of all they say.
    I think every culture is capable of nonsense and error, and everyone should be skeptical of everything they say. Because of this article and the fact that they mentioned it before, makes you think there is more to it than we were believing. I am very skeptical of what we hear today, there seem to be so much need to keep secrets, one can hardly believe anything anymore.
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    Renowned Voyaging Canoe Embarks on its Greatest Journey Yet – News Watch I think you might find this interesting Mr. Galt, Sir Ducky. I was able to see this and the other vessel involved anchored here at Mauna Kea. What a fascinating trip. I am lucky to have been asked to go on a short sail, on one of the smaller such vessels here, built by an old Hawai'ian family. I can hardly wait! What an HONOR, to be asked!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    Curiosity's mission is to explore the past environment of Mars. So long as you have reasonable expectation (ie, no little green men) there is a lot more in store from this amazing rover. In my mind, its biggest success was simply the fact that it was built and landed on Mars. Everything else is pretty much icing on the cake.
    There is a new mission to Mars due to launch in the next few days.
    "NASA's Next Mission to Mars"

    http://youtu.be/o5bi32hZ7bw
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