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Posted on Sunday, February 10 - 2013

NASA"s Curiosity rover has used its drilling tool to bore in to a rock on Mars and collect samples.The drilling targeted a rock nicknamed "John Klein" which had already been used as part of earlier preparatory operations including the creation of a shallower bore hole for testing. The new, larger bore hole represents the first to be created in the collection of rock samples. It will likelytake some time for the samples to be tested using the rover"s on-board science instruments.Curiosity has now been on Mars for 182 Martian days and everything continues to run smoothly.

Due to its success the rover"s original two-year mission has been extended indefinitely and its nuclear-based power source could see it continue to operate on Mars for more than a decade. The drilling took place on Feb. 8, 2013, or Sol 182, Curiosity"s182nd Martian day of operations. Several preparatory activities with the drill preceded this operation.  

View: Full article |  Source: NASA  

Views : 13151

Posted on Thursday, August 29 - 2013

Could all life on Earth have originated on Mars ?
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

New evidence suggests that life on our planet may have arrived here after first developing on Mars. The revolutionary theory will be presented at the annual Goldschmidt conference today and is based on new evidence that backs up the notion that life didn"t originate on Earth at all but instead was carried here from Mars on meteorites.Professor Steven Benner is due to present the findings thatsuggest that an oxidized mineral form of the element molybdenum, thought to be a crucial component in the development of life, would have only been present on the surface of Mars."It"s only when molybdenum becomes highly oxidized that it is able to influence how early life formed," he said.

"This form of molybdenum couldn"t have been available on Earth at the time life first began, because three billion years ago the surface of the Earth had very little oxygen, but Mars did. It"s yet another piece of evidence which makes it more likely life came to Earth on a Martian meteorite, rather than starting on this planet."Furthermore, early Earth is likely to have had so much water coverage that this would haveimpeded life"s development. The evidence even points to the likelihood that the conditions favorable to the origins of life on Mars are actually still present there now."The evidence seems to be building that we are actually all Martians; that life started on Mars and came to Earth on a rock," said Benner. "It"s lucky that we ended up here nevertheless, as certainly Earth has been the better of the two planets for sustaining life. If our hypothetical Martian ancestors had remained on Mars, there might not have been a story to tell."

Source: Goldschmidt PressRelease

Views : 4705

Posted on Sunday, August 11 - 2013

The fact that there"s no way to get home again has done little to stop people signing up in their droves.The highly ambitious Mars One project aims to not only send humans to Mars but to have them live there indefinitely. With a tentative launch date that is only nine years from now, many argue that the technology simply isn"t going to be ready to initiate such a mission at a time long before any of the world"s space agencies have even been able to send a manned mission to orbit Mars, let alone toland on the surface and set up home.Over 100,000 people have applied for the trip and these will be narrowed down to a select group of just 40 of which only four will earn seats on the first mission in 2022.

"What we want to do is tell the story to the world. When humans go to Mars, when they settle on Mars and build a new Earth, a new planet," said chief executive Bas Lansdorp who estimates the first trip will cost around $6bn. "This is one of the most exciting things that ever happened, and we want to share the story with the entire world." "The chance to colonise a new planet sounds like something from Star Trek, but early settlers need to accept that they are unlikely to see Earth again."  

View: Full article |  Source: IB Times  

Views : 1532 | Comments : 1

Posted on Tuesday, August 06 - 2013

The rover celebrated one year on the Red Planet with a lonely rendition of "Happy Birthday to Me".Since it"s harrowing descent 12 months ago, Curiosity has trundled across the Martian surface taking photographs, collecting samples and recording measurements. Having already succeeded in its primary mission to determine if Mars could have once supported life, the future is bright forthe rover and it is hoped that it will continue to operate for many years to come."Curiosity landed on Mars on August 5th, 2012," said electrical engineer Florence Tan.

"It was born on Mars that day, and so we consider that day as its birthday." "To celebrate the one year anniversary of landing on the surface of red planet, Nasa engineers managed to coax a rendition of ‘Happy Birthday To You’ out of the 2,000lb Curiosityrover."  

View: Full article |  Source: Independent  

Views : 630 | Comments : 1

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