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Mars NASA Space Science

Probable Water Ice Sighted On Mars 393

CraftyJack writes "Bright white chunks in the trenches dug by the Phoenix Lander have disappeared, leading Peter Smith & co. to believe that the chunks were ice that has since sublimated."
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Probable Water Ice Sighted On Mars

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  • by Gewalt ( 1200451 ) on Thursday June 19, 2008 @10:15PM (#23868049)
    Haven't we known for a good many years that there was water ice at the cap?
  • by putaro ( 235078 ) on Thursday June 19, 2008 @10:34PM (#23868221) Journal
    We often see the scientific community putting manned spaceflight down, saying that it is not useful for scientific research. Had we sent people, with even a minimal laboratory, we'd have known within about 15 minutes whether what they were digging up was ice or not. Since the lander doesn't have an "ice" experiment/module on board, we're reduced to guess work.

    The reality is that manned spaceflight is not *economical* for scientific research at this point. We should be working on getting our launch costs down so that we could actually send people to do things, build factories in space, and start getting some real benefit out of space.
  • what they should do (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Adult film producer ( 866485 ) <> on Thursday June 19, 2008 @10:38PM (#23868249)
    is send a dozen or two probes to Mars full of bacteria/fungus and whatever other DNA based lifeform that shown ability to live in extreme conditions and populate the planet of Mars. A few of the probes should carry heavy drilling equipment.. bore into crust of mars and dump a few loads of bacteria..

    its pretty obvious we'll fuck this planet up sooner rather than later so its probably a good idea to spread the seeds of life somewhere else. Maybe in 100 million years new life forms will thrive on Mars.
  • by CrazyJim1 ( 809850 ) on Thursday June 19, 2008 @10:43PM (#23868301) Journal
    Come on please. It is easier to get stuff there than to get stuff there and return it. Maybe a robot isn't perfect in its science capabilities, but it is well armed with equipment. Robots are great to go dangerous people. Which do you think is better for science: A: Robot lander crashes, retry again in a few months B: Philip Fry crashes on moon and dies a death, are we ever going to try that again?

    And there is always C & D. C: Robot lander lands on Mars and completes mission. D: Philip Fry completes mission, but the return module will not leave Mars. Will we ever try that again?

    I'm a big fan of robots to do stuff like this.
  • by MichaelSmith ( 789609 ) on Thursday June 19, 2008 @10:52PM (#23868395) Homepage Journal

    It's tremendously interesting to discover whether there's carbon-based fragments in the water (suggesting life did or could exist) and to figure out what else is in the water.
    This is too shallow to be fossil ice. It has to be brand new precipitated water. It should be pretty pure, unless something is living in the ice right now.
  • by Narpak ( 961733 ) on Thursday June 19, 2008 @10:55PM (#23868429)
    Not to mention discover better ways of maintaining the integrity of the human body. Apparently Zero Gravity isn't exactly reckomended for your health.

    The most significant adverse effects of long-term weightlessness are muscle atrophy and deterioration of the skeleton, or spaceflight osteopenia. These effects can be minimized through a regimen of exercise. Other significant effects include fluid redistribution, a slowing of the cardiovascular system, decreased production of red blood cells, balance disorders, and a weakening of the immune system. Lesser symptoms include loss of body mass, nasal congestion, sleep disturbance, excess flatulence, and puffiness of the face. These effects begin to reverse quickly upon return to the Earth.

    I imagine that traveling to Mars and staying there to do serious research would, without significant advances, mean a shorter lifespan and for some; a martian burial.
  • by Bartab ( 233395 ) on Thursday June 19, 2008 @11:09PM (#23868547)

    Come on please. It is easier to get stuff there than to get stuff there and return it.

    Find a couple astronaut capable people who have recently been diagnosed with cancer. Couple years to live, don't bring them back.

    A little cold hearted to design, but I'd guarantee you would have no lack of volunteers.

  • by heroine ( 1220 ) on Thursday June 19, 2008 @11:13PM (#23868573) Homepage

    Still remember when global surveyer first released the picture of massive amounts of water below the surface. It was too good to be true, no-one believed it, and it got put away.

    Now we've found massive amounts of water just below the surface, enough water to make huge amounts of rocket fuel, and it didn't even make a buried link on CNN. Where in Calif* can you find water just 2" below the surface?

  • by joocemann ( 1273720 ) on Thursday June 19, 2008 @11:39PM (#23868755)

    I don't know, but I do know that 'knowing' that water is on mars is a big objective. I'm curious why they are observing and interpreting strange data instead of applying some (probably easily produced) technical gadget to detect the presence of water.

    It can't be that hard to make the device. You'd think that if they put so much importance on whether or not water is on mars, that the rover would be equipped with something to test that. Guess not.

  • by Ortega-Starfire ( 930563 ) on Thursday June 19, 2008 @11:48PM (#23868841) Journal

    Platinum. A fuckup won't kill the environment as much with Platinum.

    Well, we could just build a bigger catapult on Mars, if only it had some sort of giant fucking mountain, we could build the mass driver along the side of it.

  • by Bartab ( 233395 ) on Friday June 20, 2008 @02:21AM (#23869639)

    At some point the public, law, and morality has to accept that adult humans can and should be able to make choices that are irrevocable.

    Besides, considering the trip length to Mars, anybody with 2 years to live wouldn't make it back. Even if there was a way back.

    BTW: Don't delude yourself that this won't happen. NASA won't do it, sure. The Chinese will.

  • by dotancohen ( 1015143 ) on Friday June 20, 2008 @04:53AM (#23870305) Homepage


    just like Duke Nukem Forever will really really really really really really really come out this year!

    Duke Nukem is already done, but it only runs on Herd.

It's fabulous! We haven't seen anything like it in the last half an hour! -- Macy's