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Mars NASA Science

Curiosity Spies Unidentified, Metallic Object On Mars 396

Posted by Soulskill
from the littering-on-another-planet dept.
MrSeb writes "A few hundred million miles away on the surface of the Red Planet, Mars rover Curiosity has photographed an unidentified, shiny, metallic object. Now, before you get too excited, the most likely explanation is that bright object is part of the rover that has fallen off — or perhaps some debris from MSL Curiosity's landing on Mars, nine weeks ago. There is the distinct possibility, however, that this object is actually native to Mars, which would be far more exciting. It could be the tip of a larger object, or perhaps some kind of exotic, metallic Martian pebble (a piece of metal ore, perhaps). Close-up imagery will now be captured and analyzed, and within the next few days we should know if it's simply a piece of Curiosity — or something a whole lot more exciting."
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Curiosity Spies Unidentified, Metallic Object On Mars

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  • Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @02:32PM (#41599021)

    Call me a cynic, but even if the entire planet was made of solid gold, it still wouldn't make it economically feasible to go there.

    A puddle of water there would be way more valuable.

  • by na1led (1030470) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @02:38PM (#41599135)
    Don't expect to hear anymore about this story.
  • Re:Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Phics (934282) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @02:41PM (#41599181)
    If the entire planet was made of solid gold, it would make it an economic disaster to go there.
  • Re:Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

    by xtal (49134) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @02:42PM (#41599193)

    Massive gold deposits would make settlement there easier, but not for economic reasons. Gold is easily alloyed and makes a great material for all sorts of things. Like electric machinery, needed to process ore, water, ventilation, etc.

  • by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland.yahoo@com> on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @02:44PM (#41599235) Homepage Journal

    Yes, becasue NASA wouldn't want the huge amount of money that would poor into the project to get there before anyone else, and the military sure wouldn't be interested.

    It's in the governments, the military, and NASAs best interests to find an alien artifact, you moron.

    I look forward to hearing about the as a conspiracy for the next 20 years~

  • Re:Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jeng (926980) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @02:47PM (#41599267)

    Gold is easily alloyed and makes a great material for all sorts of things.

    Radiation shielding.

  • Re:C'mon man... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hcs_$reboot (1536101) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @02:58PM (#41599413)
    Yes, it's a (piece of a) spaceship named Curiosity. Seriously, the robot finds a metallic piece of something close to where it landed... what are the odds that part is not from Curiosity itself? (answer ~0%)
  • Re:Screw that... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Xenkar (580240) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @03:12PM (#41599573)

    Statistically, mentally ill people aren't more or less likely to attack you than a normal person unless said mentally ill person is a schizophrenic female. In which case the chance is doubled.

    The reason why we don't send mentally ill people is because we'd also have to send a supply of whatever medication they'll need to keep balanced and productive plus a psychiatrist for therapy.

    But I think a sparse Mars colony would be perfect for my socialphobia. I'd only have to get used to at most twenty people.

  • Re:Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CubicleZombie (2590497) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @03:14PM (#41599589)

    I mean, look at all the gold up there, we can balance our national debt, hell we can buy the world! Everyone will be rich, no one won't have gold so how can people be poor if they have gold? (/sarcasm)

    Who needs a planet full of gold when we have the Federal Reserve?

  • by dkleinsc (563838) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @03:53PM (#41600051) Homepage

    Wouldn't you be more likely to find that on Venus?

  • Re:Wow (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dpilot (134227) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @03:53PM (#41600059) Homepage Journal

    That's not part of next quarter's profits, nor within the tenure of any currently elected politician.

    Forget it.

  • Re:Wow (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Psychopath (18031) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @04:02PM (#41600171) Homepage

    That's not part of next quarter's profits, nor within the tenure of any currently elected politician.

    Forget it.

    Neither is the robot that found it, and yet there it is. For fuck's sake, there is such a thing as being too cynical.

  • Re:Wow (Score:2, Insightful)

    by rednip (186217) <[rednip] [at] [gmail.com]> on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @04:07PM (#41600229) Journal

    What's wrong with supporting the idea of smaller government? It's one of the concepts that this country was founded upon.

    Huh? The role of the federal government is an argument that we've been having since the first days of the Washington Administration, that libertarians consistently claim that our country was founded on the idea of 'smaller government' is indicative of just how poorly they understand American history. In fact the constitution itself was a second try because the Articles of Confederation proved too weak; the whole idea of it was for the Constitution to grow as needed. Why is it that the ones who are calling for the most radical changes call themselves 'conservative'?

  • Re:Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SternisheFan (2529412) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @04:10PM (#41600279)

    I find the 'manifest destiny' idea that we HAVE to terraform Mars a bit funny.

    To my thinking, Mars, the Moon and the asteroids that can be mined are all there just waiting for us to use eventually. It just seems to me to be almost too "pat". As if it were a 'set-up', just waiting for us life-forms to be lulled into the solar system's evil venus-fly trap!

    I don't know if I fully trust our galaxy either. :)

  • Re:Wow (Score:3, Insightful)

    by lightknight (213164) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @04:20PM (#41600411) Homepage

    Yes, because wanting a smaller, less leviathonic government == wanting slavery. Thanks.

  • Re:Wow (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @04:45PM (#41600739)

    Much like how the people Jesus was rebelling against were those who considered themselves the most pious. If Jesus was alive today he would be against the american conservative movement, those holier than thou fucks need to pull their heads out of their ass and love thy neighbor.

  • Re:Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

    by englishknnigits (1568303) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @04:51PM (#41600815)
    The terms liberal and conservative are almost completely meaningless today. People think liberal is a synonym for Democrat and conservative is a synonym for Republican and misuse those terms accordingly.

    Arguing that the Constitution was designed to grow as needed is almost entirely unrelated to whether or not they thought we should have a small government. They certainly thought we should have a federal government that was restrained by the constitution and its amendments. The idea was to enumerate the powers of the federal government in the Constitution. If we wanted to expand those powers, we would have to amend the constitution through an intentionally difficult process where a super majority of states agree with the change. As of right now, neither Democrats nor Republicans respect limitations imposed on the federal government by the Constitution. They think "if 51% of people want it, we can do it!" which is little more than mob rule. This isn't exactly new but I do think it has steadily been getting worse.
  • Re:Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AAWood (918613) <aawood@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @05:02PM (#41600949)
    The two tasks aren't mutually exclusive. There is a logical fallacy in thinking that scientists can be taken as one entire group who should all focus research on a handful of "important things". The people with the expertise of how we could theoretically travel to other planets and make that habital environments in a millenium (30 generations?) are not, for the most part, the same people with the expertise of how best to steer society on a global scale to make best use of this planet over the next century (3 generations), and I daresay if each group focuses on their area of expertise, they'll both make advances that aid the other along the way.
  • Re:Wow (Score:3, Insightful)

    by amicusNYCL (1538833) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @06:50PM (#41601999)

    That's not how evolution works. Evolution is not a response to environmental stimuli. It happens all the time, randomly, and sometimes it benefits the lifeform and other times it doesn't.

  • Re:Wow (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Nethemas the Great (909900) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @08:45PM (#41602973)
    If the entire planet was made of solid gold... It would cause the planet to have such a high mass as to make it impossible to attain escape velocity and return with it.

Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurence of the improbable. - H. L. Mencken

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