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NASA: Curiosity Has Found Plastic On Mars 293

dsinc writes "Last week Curiosity was able to use its SAM (Sample Analysis at Mars) device to confirm the discovery. A robotic arm with a complex system of Spectral Analysis devices was able to vaporize and identify gasses from the sample, concluding that it is in fact plastic. How plastic formed or ended up on the Martian surface is quite an exciting mystery that sparks many questions. The type of plastic sampled as we know so far can only be formed using petrochemicals, meaning not only that there could possibly be a source of oil on the Red Planet, but that somehow it got turned into plastic. Even more interesting is that oil or petrochemicals used to create this type of plastic are only known to come from ancient fossilized organic materials, such as zooplankton and algae, which geochemical processes convert into oil pointing to the earthshaking evidence that there was once life on mars. '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 Curiosity's principal investigator, Steve Squyres, of Cornell University. '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.'" Update: Yes, it's a hoax
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NASA: Curiosity Has Found Plastic On Mars

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  • Editors... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 29, 2012 @07:58PM (#42136447)

    Why doesn't Slashdot have them? Might as well be reader the National Inquirer. It's not April 1.

  • 0.o (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 29, 2012 @08:05PM (#42136529)

    I'm speechless, the implications of this are HUGE.

    1 -- If there is oil on Mars I bet my ass we'll be there in 20 years.
    2 -- If there is _plastic_ on mars we are going to be hard pressed to figure out how it got there, plastics from petrochemicals are not a naturally occurring process. How the hell did it get there?
    3 -- Assuming we figure out how it got there, what implications could it have on our entire view of the universe and where we stand in it.

    Exciting times we live in.

  • Check the URL (Score:5, Insightful)

    by KermMartian ( 707470 ) <kerm_martian@yaho o . c om> on Thursday November 29, 2012 @08:06PM (#42136549) Homepage
    I'm amused how many people overlooked the fact that although all the links on the page go to jpl.nasa.gov, the site itself is fake. Didn't the Mardi Gras beads give it away?
  • Re:Editors... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bradmont ( 513167 ) on Thursday November 29, 2012 @08:09PM (#42136581)
    You're right, the linked website seems really fake... it's built to look like the nasa website, but is on a third-party domain. What's more, all the navigation icons actually take you to nasa's website. Has anyone ever actually heard of nasaupdatecenter.us before today?
  • Re:Editors... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MrEricSir ( 398214 ) on Thursday November 29, 2012 @08:19PM (#42136707) Homepage

    "Seems fake," huh? You mean the renderings of the Mars "face" on the front page didn't throw you off?

  • Re:Editors... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SoCalChris ( 573049 ) on Thursday November 29, 2012 @08:30PM (#42136837) Journal

    I've been around slashdot for probably at least a decade, and seen some pretty stupid crap here. But seriously, this takes the cake. No one else is reporting anything like this. The picture in the "article" is clearly a bad photoshop of mardi gras beads, and the front page of the linked site has a picture of Chewbacca superimposed on a Martian hill.

    I can maybe see samzenpus thinking that he had a real scoop on a big story, but he should have at least ran it by some of the other people there. Someone there must have at least a semi-functioning brain. Or maybe he could have looked into the domain registration, and seen that the domain was registered a few days ago to the leader of the New Orleans Bigfoot Society.

    Crap like this is a lot of why decent discussion on nerdy things is dying on this site.

  • That's it for me (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Angst Badger ( 8636 ) on Thursday November 29, 2012 @09:06PM (#42137189)

    There are times when I have to endure the company of appallingly stupid people, but they all involve either getting paid or public transportation. Slashdot is neither of these, and I am fucking done. When I find myself missing the expert guidance of CmdrTaco, it is well past time to move on.

  • Re:Editors... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Trepidity ( 597 ) <delirium-slashdot@nosPAM.hackish.org> on Thursday November 29, 2012 @09:16PM (#42137271)

    The factor you're looking for is "capitalism". Ever since CmtrTaco retired, Slashdot decisions aren't made based on human intelligence, but on maximizing pageviews.

  • Trolled so hard (Score:3, Insightful)

    by smg5266 ( 2440940 ) on Thursday November 29, 2012 @09:21PM (#42137305)
    I was flipping out. Now I feel dumb. My only solace is that Slashdot looks a lot dumber than me.
  • CmdrTaco (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gr8_phk ( 621180 ) on Thursday November 29, 2012 @09:39PM (#42137463)
    And now we know why Taco left.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 29, 2012 @09:42PM (#42137497)

    samzenpus should quit. Slashdot needs EDITORS and not idiots.

  • Re:Editors... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by iamhassi ( 659463 ) on Friday November 30, 2012 @05:18AM (#42139615) Journal
    So how did this get posted? Obvious fake is obvious, but whoever created the site could now change it to some spammy malware site and nothing can be done, it's already been linked to by /. and probably dozens of other sites, the fake site is probably top ranked on google now for dozens of search terms. This is not good /., things like this is why after 15 years I don't visit /. as much as I use to, and it's sad a site like reddit has better editors than /.