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Will curiosity find life on Mars??

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Posted on 2 Oct 2012 07:49:15 BDT
Last edited by the author on 2 Oct 2012 07:50:01 BDT
***STATUS REPORT*** (for oppurtunity, another Mars rover launched in 2003)
September 14, 2012

NASA Mars Rover Opportunity Reveals Geological Mystery

'Puzzling Little Martian Spheres That Don't Taste Like 'Blueberries'
Small spherical objects fill the field in this mosaic combining four images from the Microscopic Imager on NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell Univ./ USGS/Modesto Junior College
Full Image and Caption

PASADENA, Calif. -- NASA's long-lived rover Opportunity has returned an image of the Martian surface that is puzzling researchers.

Spherical objects concentrated at an outcrop Opportunity reached last week differ in several ways from iron-rich spherules nicknamed "blueberries" the rover found at its landing site in early 2004 and at many other locations to date.

Opportunity is investigating an outcrop called Kirkwood in the Cape York segment of the western rim of Endeavour Crater. The spheres measure as much as one-eighth of an inch (3 millimeters) in diameter. The analysis is still preliminary, but it indicates that these spheres do not have the high iron content of Martian blueberries.

"This is one of the most extraordinary pictures from the whole mission," said Opportunity's principal investigator, Steve Squyres of Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. "Kirkwood is chock full of a dense accumulation of these small spherical objects. Of course, we immediately thought of the blueberries, but this is something different. We never have seen such a dense accumulation of spherules in a rock outcrop on Mars."

The Martian blueberries found elsewhere by Opportunity are concretions formed by action of mineral-laden water inside rocks, evidence of a wet environment on early Mars. Concretions result when minerals precipitate out of water to become hard masses inside sedimentary rocks. Many of the Kirkwood spheres are broken and eroded by the wind. Where wind has partially etched them away, a concentric structure is evident.

Opportunity used the microscopic imager its arm to look closely at Kirkwood. Researchers checked the spheres' composition by using an instrument called the Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer on Opportunity's arm.

"They seem to be crunchy on the outside, and softer in the middle," Squyres said. "They are different in concentration. They are different in structure. They are different in composition. They are different in distribution. So, we have a wonderful geological puzzle in front of us. We have multiple working hypotheses, and we have no favorite hypothesis at this time. It's going to take a while to work this out, so the thing to do now is keep an open mind and let the rocks do the talking."

Just past Kirkwood lies another science target area for Opportunity. The location is an extensive pale-toned outcrop in an area of Cape York where observations from orbit have detected signs of clay minerals. That may be the rover's next study site after Kirkwood. Four years ago, Opportunity departed Victoria Crater, which it had investigated for two years, to reach different types of geological evidence at the rim of the much larger Endeavour Crater.

The rover's energy levels are favorable for the investigations. Spring equinox comes this month to Mars' southern hemisphere, so the amount of sunshine for solar power will continue increasing for months.

"The rover is in very good health considering its 8-1/2 years of hard work on the surface of Mars," said Mars Exploration Rover Project Manager John Callas of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. "Energy production levels are comparable to what they were a full Martian year ago, and we are looking forward to productive spring and summer seasons of exploration."

NASA launched the Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity in the summer of 2003, and both completed their three-month prime missions in April 2004. They continued bonus, extended missions for years. Spirit finished communicating with Earth in March 2010. The rovers have made important discoveries about wet environments on ancient Mars that may have been favorable for supporting microbial life.

JPL manages the Mars Exploration Rover Project for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington.

Pics @

Posted on 2 Oct 2012 07:52:50 BDT
Last edited by the author on 2 Oct 2012 07:53:48 BDT
***STATUS REPORT*** (back to Curiosity)
Inspection of Rock Target 'Bathurst Inlet'
This image was taken by Navcam: Left A (NAV_LEFT_A) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 54.
On Sol 54 (Sept. 30, 2012), Curiosity used two tools at the end of its arm to inspect two targets on an angular rock called "Bathurst Inlet." The rover had driven 7 feet (2.1 meters) the preceding sol to place itself within arm's reach of the targets.
Curiosity took close-up images of Bathurst Inlet with its Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI), and took readings with the Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) to identify chemical elements in the target. MAHLI also inspected another location within reach, "Cowles."

A Sol 54 raw image from Curiosity's left Navigation Camera showing the arm at work at Bathurst Inlet is at .

Sol 54, in Mars local mean solar time at Gale Crater, ended at 7:07 p.m. Sept. 30, PDT (10:07 p.m. EDT).

Also, yesterday 1/10/2012 marks 54 years since Nasa began its operations in which time some monumental achievements have been made.

Pics @

Posted on 2 Oct 2012 09:55:23 BDT
Opportunity more interesting than curiosity today!

Perhaps the spheres are coco pops, left over by an alien civilisation. LOL

Interesting all the same

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Oct 2012 10:10:54 BDT
Yeah, I wonder how they have formed? Perhaps some further analysis will reveal the truth.
Amazing Oppurtunity is 8.5 years old and still delivering the goods. Curiosity might finally use it's 'scoop' in the next few days. Fingers crossed!

Posted on 3 Oct 2012 09:04:02 BDT
Published: 09/02/2012 08:53 AM EDT on

A Dutch company that aims to land humans on Mars in 2023 as the vanguard of a permanent Red Planet colony has received its first funding from sponsors, officials announced this week.

Mars One plans to fund most of its ambitious activities via a global reality-TV media event, which will follow the mission from the selection of astronauts through their first years on the Red Planet. But the sponsorship money is important, helping the company - which had been self-funded for the last 18 months - get to that point, officials said Wednesday (Aug. 29).

"Receipt of initial sponsorship marks the next step to humans setting foot on Mars," Mars One founder and president Bas Lansdorp said in a statement. "A little more than a year ago we embarked down this path, calling upon industry experts to share in our bold dream. Today, we have moved from a technical plan into the first stage of funding, giving our dream a foundation in reality."

Initial sponsors include Byte Internet (a Dutch Internet/Webhosting provider); Dutch lawfirm VBC Notarissen; Dutch consulting company MeetIn; (an independent Dutch web station that focuses on energy and climate); and Dejan SEO (an Australia-based search engine optimization firm). [Video: 'Big Brother' on Mars?]

"Mars One is not just a daring project, but the core of what drives human spirit towards exploration of the unknown. We are privileged to be a supporter of this incredible project," said Dan Petrovic, general director of Dejan SEO.

Posted on 3 Oct 2012 20:53:15 BDT
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In reply to an earlier post on 3 Oct 2012 22:41:23 BDT
richard says:
sequels are rarely as good as the original! Earth is destined to go directly to video.

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Oct 2012 22:43:33 BDT
Shouldn't humans concentrate on getting things right on their own planet before thinking about going off to another, and spend all that money on the humans dying of hunger here before thinking of landing on mars which has already been destroyed and all water dryed up! Dan Petovic should stop talking about his stupid "previlege" and think about the "under-previleged" here on earth.

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Oct 2012 22:51:32 BDT
Just noticed that you've reviewed 'crisis of conscience'. I've read that too and spoke to the author. After being in the JW's who scrutinise all their members and are highly critical of any moves they make that might step out of line with watchtower doctrines, I could understand why the book was written in the way it was. Maybe that might explain things to you a bit?
Anyway, not taking this Mars II thing seriously falls completely into the plans of the destroyers. Their agenda relies on you not taking things seriously. Wake up and smell the coffee. Shake a leg etc.

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Oct 2012 22:53:22 BDT
Have to admit that your post made me laugh. 10 out of 10 for wit.

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Oct 2012 22:57:07 BDT
richard says:
it was a very difficult book to read but provided an insight into their world during that time period and i'm glad i read it. are you saying that you were in the JW's?

i'm going to have to pass on the conspiracy theory stuff.

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Oct 2012 22:58:29 BDT
richard says:
thank you and it's late, that is as in 11pm not the end of the world although who knows!

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Oct 2012 23:05:04 BDT
Hey, if it means that I don't have to go into work tomorrow then I'm all for it.

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Oct 2012 23:09:18 BDT
Last edited by the author on 3 Oct 2012 23:09:45 BDT
No I was not in the JW's but as I know a few people who are in them I observed and researched them. Surely you're not going to pass on the conspiracy theory stuff without giving it a go.......coward.

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Oct 2012 23:13:58 BDT
Late!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!The night is still young and I'll only be here for a limited time.

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Oct 2012 00:04:24 BDT
Engaging with conspiracy theories is always a waste of time.

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Oct 2012 00:04:48 BDT
Oh shame...

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Oct 2012 07:54:04 BDT
Yawn. You seem to have mistaken me for someone who gives a

Posted on 4 Oct 2012 07:58:12 BDT
***STATUS REPORT*** (Curiosity)
Approach to Ripple
A Ripple At RocknestA raw image from Curiosity's front Hazard Avoidance Camera (Hazcam) after the Sol 56 drive, showing a ripple at Rocknest
On Sol 56 (Oct. 2, 2012), Curiosity drove about 20 feet (6 meters) westward to reach a ripple of sand and dust deposited by the wind at a soil patch called "Rocknest." This site is a potential target for the rover's first use of its scoop, which the team will be evaluating over the next few days.
Activities on Sol 56 also included monitoring the environment around Curiosity with the Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD), the Dynamic Albedo of Neutrons (DAN) instrument, and the Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS). A raw image from Curiosity's front Hazard Avoidance Camera (Hazcam) after the Sol 56 drive, showing a ripple at Rocknest, is at .

Sol 56, in Mars local mean solar time at Gale Crater, ended at 8:26 p.m. Oct. 2, PDT (11:26 p.m. EDT).

Pics @

Posted on 4 Oct 2012 08:02:21 BDT
***STATUS REPORT*** (Oppurtunity)
Press Releases
September 28, 2012
Mars Rover Opportunity Working At 'Matijevic Hill'

'Opportunity Eyes Rock Fins on Cape York, Sol 3058
Rock fins up to about 1 foot (30 centimeters) tall dominate this scene from the panoramic camera (Pancam) on NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell/Arizona State Univ.
Full Image and Caption

PASADENA, Calif. -- NASA's Mars rover Opportunity, well into its ninth year on Mars, will work for the next several weeks or months at a site with some of the mission's most intriguing geological features.

The site, called "Matijevic Hill," overlooks 14-mile-wide (22-kilometer-wide) Endeavour Crater. Opportunity has begun investigating the site's concentration of small spherical objects reminiscent of, but different from, the iron-rich spheres nicknamed "blueberries" at the rover's landing site nearly 22 driving miles ago (35 kilometers).

The small spheres at Matijevic Hill have different composition and internal structure. Opportunity's science team is evaluating a range of possibilities for how they formed. The spheres are up to about an eighth of an inch (3 millimeters) in diameter.

The "blueberries" found earlier are concretions formed by the action of mineral-laden water inside rocks, but that is only one of the ways nature can make small, rounded particles. One working hypothesis, out of several, is that the new-found spherules are also concretions but with a different composition. Others include that they may be accretionary lapilli formed in volcanic ash eruptions, impact spherules formed in impact events, or devitrification spherules resulting from formation of crystals from formerly melted material. There are other possibilities, too.

"Right now we have multiple working hypotheses, and each hypothesis makes certain predictions about things like what the spherules are made of and how they are distributed," said Opportunity's principal investigator, Steve Squyres, of Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y. "Our job as we explore Matijevic Hill in the months ahead will be to make the observations that will let us test all the hypotheses carefully, and find the one that best fits the observations."

The team chose to refer to this important site as Matijevic Hill in honor of Jacob Matijevic (1947-2012), who led the engineering team for the twin Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity for several years before and after their landings. He worked at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., from 1981 until his death last month, most recently as chief engineer for surface operations systems of NASA's third-generation Mars rover, Curiosity. In the 1990s, he led the engineering team for the first Mars rover, Sojourner.

A different Mars rover team, operating Curiosity, has also named a feature for Matijevic: a rock that Curiosity recently investigated about halfway around the planet from Matijevic Hill.

"We wouldn't have gotten to Matijevic Hill, eight-and-a-half years after Opportunity's landing, without Jake Matijevic," Squyres said.

Opportunity's project manager, John Callas, of JPL, said, "If there is one person who represents the heart and soul of all three generations of Mars rovers -- Sojourner, Spirit and Opportunity, Curiosity -- it was Jake."

JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Mars Exploration Rover Project for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. For more information about Opportunity, visit: and . You can follow the project on Twitter and on Facebook at: and .

Pics @

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Oct 2012 10:15:22 BDT
richard says:
well apparently it wasn't so work it is then!

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Oct 2012 10:29:54 BDT
You mean I'm supposed to be in work?

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Oct 2012 10:34:17 BDT
richard says:
i love conspiracy theories at least in the sense of a general outline but loose interest in the detail after a while. i think that alternative explanations and ways of looking at things are very important and can sometimes bare fruit but there's also the danger that one ends up not able to believe anything. a cover up could itself be a cover up which in turn might be a cover up. i love the idea that the whole UFO business was perpetrated by the American Air force to cover up the flights of experimental air craft. how wonderful is that for misdirection!

then again maybe i'm just trying to convince you that i have no interest in following conspiracy theories just to get you to come out into the open to find out if you're on to something that i need to silence you on because i work for a covert department in the government and my job is to engage in internet forums looking for individuals who have stumbled onto things that are a matter of national security!

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Oct 2012 10:35:14 BDT
Last edited by the author on 4 Oct 2012 10:52:40 BDT
richard says:
i have a four year old boy, a school run in the morning and no idea how well he's going to sleep at's late.

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Oct 2012 10:47:21 BDT
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Discussion in:  religion discussion forum
Participants:  47
Total posts:  693
Initial post:  7 Aug 2012
Latest post:  21 Jun 2013

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