There is Water on Mars, says NASA.

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“Under certain circumstances, liquid water has been found on Mars” – Jim Green, NASA Planetary Science Director

Hear that Nestlé? You’re now allowed to open an illegal water pumping & bottling plant on Mars.

 

This is amazing. What a time to be alive. This is why we need to keep funding NASA and science… rather than GOP bible studies. This doesn’t offer evidence of life on Mars though, but it does give hope for the existence of microbes.

“The existence of liquid water, even if it is super salty briny water, gives the possibility that if there’s life on Mars, that we have a way to describe how it might survive,”

said John Grunsfeld, associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA.

 

How much water are we talking about? what volume? Well, NASA thinks this is a very small amount of water — maybe just enough to wet the top layer of the surface of Mars. The streaks are ~4-5 meters wide and ~200-300 meters long. Exciting news because this does suggest that there could be wells with much, much more water underneath the surface?

 

One factor they left out is the temperature where they found these possible water flows. From the site, planetearth, (21 Aug. 2013), “The study, published in PLoS One, reveals that below -20°C, single-celled organisms dehydrate, sending them into a vitrified – glass-like – state during which they are unable to complete their life cycle.” Earth has an atmosphere, Mars almost has none.

But not all life needs oxygen, (Science Daily, Apr. 7, 2010): “Deep under the Mediterranean Sea, small animals have been discovered that live their entire lives without oxygen and surrounded by ‘poisonous’ sulphides. Researchers report the existence of multicellular organisms (new members of the group Loricifera), showing that they are alive, metabolically active, and apparently reproducing in spite of a complete absence of oxygen.” These organisms have been discovered in a hypersaline basin deep in the Mediterranean Sea (high pressure).

If any living life is found on Mars, it’s going to completely alien to us. In either case, is the Mars rover capable to analyze and send back the answer? I doubt it. The only definite answer will come from human exploration of Mars.

 

My thoughts:

As a person without professional or specialized knowledge in this particular subject, I have a few questions: Why didn’t that fancy rover that landed on Mars a while back pick up any evidence of water? Photos would’ve been great, vs speculation. Also, does it strike anyone as weird that this announcement happened right when NASA is requesting billions more for research? The last time they announced they’d found water/life on Mars it was a total bust and was never mentioned again.

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