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Mars Space Science

Mars Site May Hold 'Buried Life' 63

sridharo sends in a report from the BBC that researchers have identified ancient rocks from Nili Fossae that could contain fossilized remains of life. These rocks are very similar to Pilbara rocks in northwest Australia. The rocks are estimated to be up to four billion years old, which means they have been around for three-quarters of the history of Mars. "[Many] scientists had hoped that they would soon have the opportunity to get much closer to these rocks. Nili Fossae was put forward as a potential landing site for NASA's ambitious new rover, the Mars Science Laboratory, which will be launched in 2011. ... But Nilae Fossae was eventually deemed too dangerous a landing site and it was finally removed from the list in June of this year." The research, led by a scientist from the SETI Institute, was published in the journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters.
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Mars Site May Hold 'Buried Life'

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  • Let me know (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Viperpete ( 1261530 ) on Friday July 30, 2010 @10:29AM (#33082580) Homepage

    May, might, maybe. I am optimistic, but let me know when they actually find life and not every speculation someone has each day.

  • by locallyunscene ( 1000523 ) on Friday July 30, 2010 @11:37AM (#33083762)
    I wasn't around when Kennedy made his speech about going to the moon so I was wondering, what was the reception of the speech at the time?

    Did half the country cry pork? Did they yell that private enterprise should be the one to take this mantle? Republicans were much more of a financially conservative party then, did they balk at the cost and actually try and cut spending from it rather than reallocating it?

    If the answer to these questions is that the response was more positive, was it Kennedy himself who paved the way for this plan to be accepted, or the general fear of the Soviets that got it pushed through?
  • by bwintx ( 813768 ) on Friday July 30, 2010 @12:45PM (#33085076)

    I did a paper on this in graduate school, in the late 1970s. After the initial shock of "OMG, he really means it" wore off, and particularly as the 1962 mid-term election season came along, it broke down more along lines of party/ideology than many remember. Fiscal conservatives (true ones, not the so-called conservatives who, say, rubber-stamp anything the Pentagon wants) definitely never liked the huge cost, even though the deficit wasn't that big a problem at the time. (It was the guns-and-butter approach during the height of the VIetnam War that went wacko in the red-ink department; NASA's costs were a drop in the bucket, even then.) And, yeah, it generally was the "we've-gotta-beat-the-Russians" feeling that carried it to fruition despite the criticisms that did arise, particularly after the Apollo I fire in 1967 made it clear that a lot of corners had been cut -- and suggested strongly that a lot of cronyism had been going on. There wasn't a lot of serious comment about private enterprise doing it, however, because there was no "business case" to be made for it (the eventual price tag was about $25 billion in 1960s dollars). If it were to be done, it would be done by the government.

    </obligatory 'lawn' comment>

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