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Mars May Be Habitable Today

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#1 Hum

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 13:42

LOS ANGELES — While Mars was likely a more hospitable place in its wetter, warmer past, the Red Planet may still be capable of supporting microbial life today, some scientists say.

Ongoing research in Mars-like places such as Antarctica and Chile's Atacama Desert shows that microbes can eke out a living in extremely cold and dry environments, several researchers stressed at "The Present-Day Habitability of Mars" conference held here at the University of California Los Angeles this month.

And not all parts of the Red Planet's surface may be arid currently — at least not all the time. Evidence is building that liquid water might flow seasonally at some Martian sites, potentially providing a haven for life as we know it.

"We certainly can't rule out the possibility that it's habitable today," said Alfred McEwen of the University of Arizona, principal investigator for the HiRise camera aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft.

McEwen discussed some intriguing observations by HiRise, which suggest that briny water may flow down steep Martian slopes during the local spring and summer.

Sixteen such sites have been identified to date, mostly on the slopes of the huge Valles Marineris canyon complex, McEwen said. The tracks seem to repeat seasonally as the syrupy fluids descend along weather-worn pathways.

While the brines may originate underground, Caltech's Edwin Kite noted, there is an increasing suspicion that a process known as deliquescence — in which moisture present in the atmosphere is gathered by compounds on the ground, allowing it to become a liquid — may be responsible.

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#2 Mohitster

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 13:50

And I am thinking did they send any living forms to Mars with Curiosity?

#3 Solid Knight

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 13:55

And I am thinking did they send any living forms to Mars with Curiosity?


They should have.

#4 +da00

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 13:57

They should have.


Should brought some micro-organisms and water.

Just to see how it'd fare..

#5 Simon-

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 14:06

And I am thinking did they send any living forms to Mars with Curiosity?

No. They have been very careful to make sure that all equipment sent to Mars to date has been completely sanitized or kept in clean rooms at all times to avoid this possibility.

#6 Dane

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 15:01

No. They have been very careful to make sure that all equipment sent to Mars to date has been completely sanitized or kept in clean rooms at all times to avoid this possibility.


I have to laugh at some of the clean rooms. A few years ago I was able to go inside the building that had rooms for the ISS. It was called a clean room. Yet everyone dressed in normal clothing. I guess maybe it was because the additions were already built and ready to go.

#7 vetneufuse

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 15:18

I have to laugh at some of the clean rooms. A few years ago I was able to go inside the building that had rooms for the ISS. It was called a clean room. Yet everyone dressed in normal clothing. I guess maybe it was because the additions were already built and ready to go.


you want a real clean room, go to an Intel Fab... even people aren't allowed in them... only robots

#8 HawkMan

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 15:27

There is no such thing as no microbiology on earth. you can only control that in very small areas and even then you have limited control. we have organism that survive cosmic radiation.
chances are we left some of these on Mars already. though they may not have survived long or been able to multiply.

#9 SALSN

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 17:01

As far as I remember, NASA has already acknowledged that the first spacecrafts on Mars like the Viking landers were not cleaned well enough to according to today's knowledge to kill all microbial life, thus there is already life on Mars, perhaps deceased though?!

#10 OP Hum

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 17:03

^ Oh there's a few lifeforms alive and well. ;)

The truth is leaking out ...

#11 Growled

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 02:45

I've seen the movie War of the Worlds. I know what's there. :p

#12 DocM

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 05:33

you want a real clean room, go to an Intel Fab... even people aren't allowed in them... only robots


Yup. Also clean as hell is a BSL-4 bio lab.

#13 +Tech085

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 06:39

Do you have the right to be stupid on Mars like in America we live in today.

#14 nekkidtruth

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 06:50

Do you have the right to be stupid on Mars like in America we live in today.


I don't disagree that America is...well...interesting these days....but what is your childhood trauma? Are you going to ask this in every single thread on this website? :rolleyes:

#15 neoadorable

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 15:27

pretty sure there's life on Mars. not the life Hum has in mind, the kind that drives humvees and tests nukes on Mars, but rather very simple life. and we will soon find it. Mars is not that hostile. You could technically survive on Mars with an air tank, really tight and really warm clothing, and good sunglasses - at least for a few hours. and that's on an average day. a good day the clothing would just have to be tight, not even warm.



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