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Thread: Search for Life on Mars

  1. #1 Search for Life on Mars 
    mvb
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    Science Now, at []New Results Send Mars Rover on a Quest for Ancient Life | Science/AAAS | News, currently contains a very readable and interesting note about the search for life on Mars. It makes the likelihood of something turning up there seem rather larger than it has seemed up until now.


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    Larger is a relative term. Still highly unlikely.Unfortunately as soon as the first results came back from Curiosty, most of the geologic community went 'sh!t' under their breath. Almost couldn't of landed in a geologic formation less likely for evidence of life...even if it had been on Earth. Not bad planning but bad luck of the draw. NASA has kept an optimistic spin on things...and, certainly other achievements by Curiosity are great.The planet is dead and at this point zero evidence of past life. Perhaps evidence of past life may be a horizon away but just 'perhaps'. Unfortunately nothing planned for an unmanned sample return mission in the next couple of decades.


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    I think a lot of NASA folks would have been a lot happier to have landed in one of the several large river delta systems.
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    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    I am from the small school of sceptics who feel the positive life sign results from the Viking craft were dismissed too readily.
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    Lynx....knew a couple of the NASA folks...I miss them!! Always things to learn from them! The Solar System is awesome!
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    I am from the small school of sceptics who feel the positive life sign results from the Viking craft were dismissed too readily.

    I am confident you have stated that somewhere else, but I cannot recall where.
    Is it possible to provide more information about these findings?
    "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."

    ~ Arthur Schopenhauer, The Art of Being Right: 38 Ways to Win an Argument (1831), Stratagem XXXVIII.
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  8. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    I am from the small school of sceptics who feel the positive life sign results from the Viking craft were dismissed too readily.
    Would you mind if I ask if you would elaborate Sir Galt?
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    Didn't they just recently determine that much of Gale crater/Yellowknife Bay was probably a lake at some point?
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    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    I am from the small school of sceptics who feel the positive life sign results from the Viking craft were dismissed too readily.
    Would you mind if I ask if you would elaborate Sir Galt?
    The Viking landers, which touched down in the mid seventies, had three experiments designed to detect life. One and arguably twof the three on both craft returned results that, prior to the landing, would have been considered clear evidence of life. However, because other equipment failed to detect organic molecules, other explanations were found. I think that decision was precipitate.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    I am from the small school of sceptics who feel the positive life sign results from the Viking craft were dismissed too readily.
    Would you mind if I ask if you would elaborate Sir Galt?
    The Viking landers, which touched down in the mid seventies, had three experiments designed to detect life. One and arguably twof the three on both craft returned results that, prior to the landing, would have been considered clear evidence of life. However, because other equipment failed to detect organic molecules, other explanations were found. I think that decision was precipitate.
    SO you feel more study needed to be done on what was found and that the conclusion to chuck it all may have missed things that were possibly there and able to contribute to knowledge?
    What type of knowledge to you ascertain would have possibly been found?

    Mahalo for answering my inquiry.
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  12. #11  
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    Exactly. All subsequent Mars craft have looked for evidence of conditions that might have been favourable to life. None have searched for direct evidence of life. Now the conclusions made by the team of scientists may well be correct. The largely single handed campaign by Gilbert Levin arguing for the case that Viking discovered life could be attributed to the fact that it was his experiment that gave the clearest positive results. However. I feel an opportunity was missed - and continues to be missed - by not including a more sophisticated suite of life detection experiments in subsequent craft.

    If we subsequently discover that microbial life does exist in the surface layers of Martian regolith then it will be almost certain that the Vikings did detect life and that we wasted half a century.
    Last edited by John Galt; December 12th, 2013 at 04:48 AM. Reason: Coreect typing error
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Exactly. All subsequent Mars craft have looked for evidence of conditions that might have been favourable to life. None have searched for direct evidence of life. Now the conclusions made by the team of scientists may well be correct. The largely single handed campaign by Gilbert Levin arguing for the case that Viking discovered life could be attributed to the fact that it was his experiment that gave the clearest positive results. However. I feel an opportunity was missed - and continues to be missed - by not including a more sophisticated suite of life detection experiments in subsequent craft.

    If we subsequently discover that microbial life does exist in the surface layers of Martian regolith then it will be almost certain that the Vikings did detect life and that we wasted half a century.
    Mahalo for a clear and concise answer. Appreciated.
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    Are their any particular reasons they didn't land any of the rovers on/near the ice cap?
    It utterly frustrates me that they keep digging in the sand instead of taking a dip in the water!

    If there's martian liquid... WTF?! search it!!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by grmpysmrf View Post
    Are their any particular reasons they didn't land any of the rovers on/near the ice cap?
    It utterly frustrates me that they keep digging in the sand instead of taking a dip in the water!

    If there's martian liquid... WTF?! search it!!!
    *laughing*....is this like a "hey buddy, get your feet wet or die?"
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  16. #15  
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    The Mars Polar Lander set down on the ice cap. As expected it did not survive its first winter, whereas Opportunity, the rover landed in more hospitable climes, is still working after almost ten years on the surface.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    The Mars Polar Lander set down on the ice cap. As expected it did not survive its first winter, whereas Opportunity, the rover landed in more hospitable climes, is still working after almost ten years on the surface.
    Cool Sir Galt
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  18. #17  
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    The Mars Polar Lander set down on the ice cap. As expected it did not survive its first winter, whereas Opportunity, the rover landed in more hospitable climes, is still working after almost ten years on the surface.
    Really? I've never heard of this. It didn't make it the winter... so how long did it make it? months? days? hours?
    I thought I kept up on all things Planetary... I'm bummed I missed this. maybe since it failed is why it was kept out of the news?

    Did they get a chance to drill into the ice? analyze any of the ice? ANYTHING?
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  19. #18  
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    The Mars Polar Lander left orbit to descend to Mars on Dec. 3, 1999. It apparently got to the height where the legs were supposed to be deployed and was never heard from again. It is apparently believed that the rockets ceased firing prematurely, perhaps from the controls misreading the jolt of deploying the legs for the later jolt when the legs touched the ground. There is a wikipedia article that looks to me to be well done:
    []Mars Polar Lander - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia].
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    I incorrectly named the lander. I was speaking of Phoenix, which did land and operate successfully in the polar regions a decade after the MPL. Excuse the confusion.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvb View Post
    The Mars Polar Lander left orbit to descend to Mars on Dec. 3, 1999. It apparently got to the height where the legs were supposed to be deployed and was never heard from again. It is apparently believed that the rockets ceased firing prematurely, perhaps from the controls misreading the jolt of deploying the legs for the later jolt when the legs touched the ground. There is a wikipedia article that looks to me to be well done:
    []Mars Polar Lander - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia].
    Ok, I thought I knew about this one. it was launched at roughly the same time as the twin rovers only it failed on entry whereas the twins went for 8 billion times longer than expected. I had a feeling mr. galt was talking about a "current" operation
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  22. #21  
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    I incorrectly named the lander. I was speaking of Phoenix, which did land and operate successfully in the polar regions a decade after the MPL. Excuse the confusion.
    OH MY GOD!!! AN ERROR? *passing out*!! *chuckle*
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  23. #22  
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    Any chance that life might exist beneath the surface of Mars such as in underground caves rather than on the surface?
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