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Mars Space Science

Life Possible On 'Large Regions' of Mars 154

Posted by samzenpus
from the quato-approved dept.
astroengine writes "Australian scientists who modeled conditions on Mars to examine how much of the Red Planet was habitable have said that 'large regions' could sustain life. Using decades of global data, the researchers have evaluated the entire planet, and found that 3 percent of the Martian volume could sustain Earth-like microbial life. As a comparison, only one percent of the volume of Earth contains life. However, the only habitable regions are below the Martian surface where the temperature and pressure could sustain liquid water."
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Life Possible On 'Large Regions' of Mars

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  • Original article (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 12, 2011 @10:31AM (#38342484)

    The paper can be found here [].

    The slant they're putting on it is slightly different. They've noted that in a large proportion of areas on Earth where there is liquid water there isn't necessarily life, so simply searching for liquid water in space isn't necessarily the best way to go about looking for other life or places which would be habitable: you need to bear in mind other factors as well if you want to narrow it down.

    Terrestrial life is known to require liquid water, but not all terrestrial water is inhabited. Thus, liquid water is a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for life...If the known limits of terrestrial life do not change significantly, these limits represent important constraints on our biosphere and, potentially, on others, since ~4 billion years of evolution have not allowed life to adapt to a large fraction of the volume of Earth where liquid water exists

  • by loufoque (1400831) on Monday December 12, 2011 @10:53AM (#38342724)

    That's nothing compared to the amount of russian cosmonauts who died, or probably also the unknown amount of chinese ones.

  • by kelemvor4 (1980226) on Monday December 12, 2011 @10:59AM (#38342804)

    They do lots of testing. However, "astronaut" is still a very dangerous profession.

    Oh please. Your odds of a nice long healthy gray hair retirement are orders of magnitude better for an astronaut than for a logger or a farm hand.

    31% of all astronauts have died in the process (source: [] ). I haven't looked up statistics for logging and farming, but I'd be really surprised to find it was so high.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 12, 2011 @11:28AM (#38343114)

    31% of all astronauts have died in the process (source: [] ). I haven't looked up statistics for logging and farming, but I'd be really surprised to find it was so high.

    Please show your math. According to your own citation, there have been around 520 astronauts (depending on your definition of astronaut) and 29 deaths during spaceflight or training. My math says about 5.6%. I'll bet that's pretty comparable to a fishing or logging job, while being a log more rewarding.

    Also, please note that the above definition of astronaut does not include the hundreds of astronauts in perpetual training who have not yet flown (and now probably never will fly) a space mission.

  • Re:A few kilometers. (Score:5, Informative)

    by mosb1000 (710161) <> on Monday December 12, 2011 @11:56AM (#38343450)

    There are several types of drill rigs that do not require a working fluid. Probably the best one for this application is a cable tool rig [] which drops a bit suspend by a cable to break up the rock, and then a bailer to remove the broken rock. This is a very slow process, but depths of 3.7 km have been achieved with it and it doesn't require a drilling fluid so I think it could get the job done.

"Someone's been mean to you! Tell me who it is, so I can punch him tastefully." -- Ralph Bakshi's Mighty Mouse