Mars Rover 'Spirit' Has Found Most Conclusive Evidence Of Water Yet!

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Mars Rover 'Spirit' Has Found Most Conclusive Evidence Of Water Yet!

May 21, 2007

Mars Rover Spirit Unearths Surprise Evidence of Wetter Past

This image shows silica-rich soil found by Spirit
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PASADENA, Calif. - A patch of Martian soil analyzed by NASA's rover Spirit is so rich in silica that it may provide some of the strongest evidence yet that ancient Mars was much wetter than it is now. The processes that could have produced such a concentrated deposit of silica require the presence of water.

Members of the rover science team heard from a colleague during a recent teleconference that the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer, a chemical analyzer at the end of Spirit's arm, had measured a composition of about 90 percent pure silica for this soil.

"You could hear people gasp in astonishment," said Steve Squyres of Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., principal investigator for the Mars rovers' science instruments. "This is a remarkable discovery. And the fact that we found something this new and different after nearly 1,200 days on Mars makes it even more remarkable. It makes you wonder what else is still out there."

Spirit's miniature thermal emission spectrometer observed the patch, and Steve Ruff of Arizona State University, Tempe, noticed that its spectrum showed a high silica content. The team has laid out plans for further study of the soil patch and surrounding deposits.

Exploring a low range of hills inside a Connecticut-sized basin named Gusev Crater, Spirit had previously found other indicators of long-ago water at the site, such as patches of water-bearing, sulfur-rich soil; alteration of minerals; and evidence of explosive volcanism.

"This is some of the best evidence Spirit has found for water at Gusev," said Albert Yen, a geochemist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. One possible origin for the silica could have been interaction of soil with acid vapors produced by volcanic activity in the presence of water. Another could have been from water in a hot spring environment. The latest discovery adds compelling new evidence for ancient conditions that might have been favorable for life, according to members of the rover science team.

David Des Marais, an astrobiologist at NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., said, "What's so exciting is that this could tell us about environments that have similarities to places on Earth that are clement for organisms."

Spirit and its twin rover, Opportunity, completed their original three-month prime missions in April 2004. Both are still operating, though showing signs of age. One of Spirit's six wheels no longer rotates, so it leaves a deep track as it drags through soil. That churning has exposed several patches of bright soil, leading to some of Spirit's biggest discoveries at Gusev, including this recent discovery.

Doug McCuistion, director of NASA's Mars Exploration Program, said, "This unexpected new discovery is a reminder that Spirit and Opportunity are still doing cutting-edge exploration more than three years into their extended missions. It also reinforces the fact that significant amounts of water were present in Mars' past, which continues to spur the hope that we can show that Mars was once habitable and possibly supported life."

The newly discovered patch of soil has been given the informal name "Gertrude Weise," after a player in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, according to Ray Arvidson of Washington University in St. Louis, deputy principal investigator for the rovers.

"We've looked at dozens of disturbed soil targets in the rover tracks, and this is the first one that shows a high silica signature," said Ruff, who last month proposed using Spirit's miniature thermal emission spectrometer to observe this soil. That instrument provides mineral composition information about targets viewed from a distance. The indications it found for silica in the overturned soil prompted a decision this month to drive Spirit close enough to touch the soil with the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer. Silica commonly occurs on Earth as the crystalline mineral quartz and is the main ingredient in window glass. The Martian silica at the Gertrude Weise patch is non-crystalline, with no detectable quartz.

Spirit worked within about 50 yards or meters of the Gertrude Weise area for more than 18 months before the discovery was made. "This discovery has driven home to me the value of in-depth, careful exploration," Squyres said. "This is a target-rich environment, and it is a good thing we didn't go hurrying through it."

Meanwhile, on the other side of the planet, Opportunity has been exploring Victoria Crater for about eight months. "Opportunity has completed the initial survey of the crater's rim and is now headed back to the area called Duck Bay, which may provide a safe path down into the crater," said John Callas, project manager for the rovers at JPL.

 

### Natalie Godwin/Guy Webster 818-354-0850/6278
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California

Dwayne Brown/Tabatha Thompson 202-358-1726/3895
NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C.

NEWS RELEASE: 2007-061


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I saw this yesterday and

I saw this yesterday and meant to post it. Not sure why I didn't. Very cool stuff here.

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When we find other life in

When we find other life in the Universe religious people will most probably try to adopt that into their creation lie just like they did the dinosaurs. We have found Micro Organisms on a meteor, it's only a matter of time before we find Macro Organisms like ourselves. I know that as an Atheist we have to go only on Fact, but isn't it a clear fact that the Government is hidding information of UFO's/Extraterrestrial Life?

 

Slimm,

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"When one person suffers from a delusion, it is called Insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion, it is called Religion." - Robert M. Pirsig,


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Slimm wrote: ...but isn't

Slimm wrote:

...but isn't it a clear fact that the Government is hidding information of UFO's/Extraterrestrial Life?

 

I was with you up until this point. I am not sure I agree with this statement. 


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Slimm wrote: ...isn't it a

Slimm wrote:
...isn't it a clear fact that the Government is hidding information of UFO's/Extraterrestrial Life?
Most of them have more reasonable explanations. I suppose it's possible, but I doubt it. I would imagine they would have told people like those on the SETI project to not waste their time if that was the case.

Even if they have case files that are solid and unexplanable, I don't know that it would represent conclusive proof. Evidence suitable for a court of law isn't the same as scientific proof or evidence, but if it existed (and consisted of more than personal accounts) it might be enough to prompt some scientific investigation, but only if it were really worthwhile for the scientist(s) to do so instead of something else.

I do agree, however, that it's likely that there are macro organisms out there like ourselves, and we're likely to find them at some point. However I don't believe any of the visitation reports. I find the abduction reports simply too easy to explain in other ways, and generally too full of holes (I've seen some claim physical abduction while simultaneously explaining it as a telepathic or somehow spiritual abduction where the body remains in the bed). I do think it's a fascinating phenomenon, though.

 Back to the original topic, this really is exciting. I can't wait to see what they will come up with in more intensive future expiditions. It would be great if they could get some actual people out there. ...but to think that this discovery may not have been made if the rover's wheel hadn't busted!


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Isn't it amazing? The rover

Isn't it amazing? The rover is it's own little science lab!


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Extraterrestrial Life?

I've been watching a lot of stuff on YouTube about extraterrestrial life and gangs of scientist previously involved in government programs are coming out and proceeding to testify before the courts about what they know. Know it's wrong for me to jump to conclusions like that, but it does sound 99.99999% possible of there being other live that simply evolved on other planets revolving around Stars/Suns in other galaxies & even our own. When you think that there's 100 Billion Suns/Stars in our own MilkyWay Galaxy with there own Solar Systems and even 1 Billion other Galaxies, the idea that the only life in the Universe is only found on earth sound like something a christian would say.




{Edited to embed videos}

Quote:
"When one person suffers from a delusion, it is called Insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion, it is called Religion." - Robert M. Pirsig,


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Dang I thought that I could

Dang I thought that I could just embed the videos to make it easier for people to see. These videos left me puzzled, just click on the link in each of the two code paragraphs...

Slimm,

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"When one person suffers from a delusion, it is called Insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion, it is called Religion." - Robert M. Pirsig,


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I would say that there's

I would say that there's good evidence that we don't have the whole story on these matters, but unfortunately that doesn't eqaute to solid proof, and definitely not scientific proof, and not proof either way of UFOs visiting earth. The problem is that there are viable explanations for many of these things.

One thing to realize is that a scientific investigation would start with the kind of proof that is accepted in a cout of law. Witness accounts and testimony are not regarded as scientific proof at all, as science is all about separating facts from human bias and error. Human memory and testimony is full of that.

To use some of the pictures in the first video you posted (thanks for doing so, they were very interesting Smiling ), alien structures aren't the only explanation. It very well could be gear and equipment that is part of the star wars project. It would make sense, and they most certainly wouldn't want foriegn governments to have hi-res photos readily available. It could even be similar equipment from other nations, or projects that NASA are building up but want to keep quiet, at least for the time being.

I very much agree that it is very very very likely that there are other civilizations out there, but that they would have any interest in us is questionable. If they did have the technology to come here, they would likely have the technology to observe us from afar. They could probably even get transmissions from our satellites, which would give them all the information they'd need. If I were in that position, though, I can't say that I'd WANT to come here, knowing that they would likely shoot me down, rather than be welcoming.

When it comes down to it the possibilities are endless, but the question is which ones are more probable. I think it's probable that they're out there, but not so probable that they're here. Keep in mind that I'm not saying with any kind of absolute certainty that it's not true, it's just that most of these things do have other explanations. For the things that present a more clear mystery, I just try to keep an open mind and reserve judgement until a time that we can answer the questions with certainty... and I do enjoy a good mystery Smiling

 (Note that if this discussion is going to go much further, we should probably start a new thread. It would probably get more response in a new thread, anyway.)

The posibility of life on Mars is really quite exciting, though, as it could give us a lot of information about life here on Earth and life in general (since all we know about right now is limited to Earth).


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So... now that there are six

So... now that there are six billion people on earth and everyone and his dog has a camera the quality of which could not be matched fifty years ago... why are we not seeing a gazillion new UFO sightings?

Because we have new concerns. We are no longer fabricating UFO sightings, or corn circles: they were last decade's entertainment.

Black ops do not equate to UFOs, UFOs do not equate to alien intelligences.

T="theists who's posts are fun-to-read, truth-seeking and insightful". Your own T will be different, but Tdewi includes { Avecrien, Cory T, crocaduck, JHenson, jread, wavefreak }