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Thu Nov 22, 2012, 11:53 AM

Life on Mars? Maybe not. NASA downplays findings

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/11/22/life-on-mars-maybe-not-nasa-downplays-findings/

NASA downplayed Wednesday talk of a major discovery by its Martian rover after remarks by the mission chief raised hopes it may have unearthed evidence life once existed on the Red Planet.

Excitement is building over soon-to-be-released results from NASA’s Curiosity rover, which is three months into a two-year mission to determine if Mars has ever been capable of supporting microbial life.

Its Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instruments have been sending back information as it hunts for compounds such as methane, as well as hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen, that would mean life could once have existed there.

In an interview with US broadcaster National Public Radio, aired Tuesday, lead mission investigator John Grotzinger hinted at something major but said there would be no announcement for several weeks.

(more at link)

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I rest my case...

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=1855534

10 replies, 1394 views

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Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
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Reply Life on Mars? Maybe not. NASA downplays findings (Original post)
Javaman Nov 2012 OP
elleng Nov 2012 #1
Posteritatis Nov 2012 #2
elleng Nov 2012 #3
Javaman Nov 2012 #4
elleng Nov 2012 #5
Javaman Nov 2012 #7
longship Nov 2012 #6
Kablooie Nov 2012 #8
Ter Nov 2012 #9
Codeine Nov 2012 #10

Response to Javaman (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 12:26 PM

1. 'so as not to cause a stir among the religious right?'

How about, the evidence way out there, such as it is, cannot be confirmed at this point?' Perfectly rational approach for scientists, imo. I don't need any 'religious right' excuse for the scientific method.
Thanks

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Response to elleng (Reply #1)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 12:47 PM

2. Seriously; the scope of the blind spot for how science works here is depressing sometimes.

People need their inane conspiracies because the actual facts aren't as interesting.

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Response to Posteritatis (Reply #2)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 01:36 PM

3. Yes and have become so accustomed to 24/7 'news' drama

that nothing less will do.

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Response to elleng (Reply #1)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 03:07 PM

4. And that's the one part of my post that you choose to pick out.

have a nice day.

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Response to Javaman (Reply #4)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 03:35 PM

5. Sorry, but seemed like a major rationale behind your attached post,

'do their usual vague reveal of maybe something

cool that possibly happened which resulted in an interesting rock that perhaps could be a marker for potentially key component to a building block of a portion of life. But they aren't 100% sure.

I'm not slamming NASA but I get really tired of these various qualified comments from them so as not to cause a stir among the religious right.'

Still cranky?
Have a nice day.


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Response to elleng (Reply #5)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 09:21 AM

7. oy.

Last edited Tue Nov 27, 2012, 08:13 AM - Edit history (1)

like I said, have a nice day.

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Response to Javaman (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 03:45 PM

6. Not surprised about this.

SAM does chemical analysis, so it won't be what some have suggested: fossils, bacteria, or even methane. Curiosity has another instrument for methane and they already used it a couple of times. Negatory on methane, so far.

This is going to be either a organic compound or a precursor, I would bet. I would think that it would be something that would not rule out life, but won't confirm it either. Or it could also be a mineral that forms only in sediments, in water. Something like that. Curiosity does not have the ability to detect life, AFAIK.

Yes, scientists are cranky that way. It's that be sure before you report thingie. I think these people want to get it right.

I am a little excited about this, too, though.

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Response to Javaman (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 10:02 PM

8. They probably realized that the previous statement created overblown expectations.

I expect something that excites scientists but is received with indifference by most of the general public.

Anything short of an actual live or dead organism probably won't get the public revved up.

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Response to Javaman (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 04:45 PM

9. The government shut them up

 

Expect a few "suicides" too.

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Response to Ter (Reply #9)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 09:34 PM

10. Jesus fucking Christ.

This place sometimes.

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