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  1. #1
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    Apr 2005
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    Thumbs up Alkaline Soil Sample From Mars Reveals Presence of Nutrients for Plants to Grow

    This excites me!

    An experiment on the Phoenix Mars lander showed the dirt on the planet’s northern arctic plains to be alkaline, though not strongly alkaline, and full of the mineral nutrients that a plant would need.
    “We basically have found what appears to be the requirements, the nutrients, to support life whether past, present or future,” said Samuel P. Kounaves of Tufts University, who is leading the chemical analysis, during a telephone news conference on Thursday. “The sort of soil you have there is the type of soil you’d probably have in your backyard.”


    More: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/27/sc...=1&oref=slogin

    There's life, but not as we know it, IMO.

    For those unable to get onto the NYT, here, try Yahoo:

    Martian soil appears able to support life

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080626/sc_nm/space_mars_dc

  2. #2
    I have an honest question, so please don't ridicule me for asking.

    Why do people get so excited that Mars may have sustained or could possibly one day sustain life? Even plant life is exciting. Is it the thought that humans could live on Mars? Or is it a way of confirming that there is life (in some form) outside of the planet earth? I don't see that knowledge changing my life in anyway aside from cool facts. My final theory is that we love mars because of books like war of the worlds.

    I personally just find the rocks/ minerals / atmosphere facinating. I think they may even find new elements. I think that would be cool. But I don't understand the searching for life concept.

    I know so many people that are thrilled by recent findings on Mars. Can someone please explain more about why studying Mars and looking for life is so fascinating?

  3. #3
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    R&G!!! ROFL but you asked the same thing I want to know. Who the heck cares? It's not like we can set up a factory or nursery there to produce things for us. The trip alone is what, 4 years? I could be wrong, but I think it's a big waste of my tax dollars.

    Ready for the flames!!

  4. #4
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    May 2004
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    If this is true I have a list of people........................

  5. #5
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    I don't know how to explain why i find it exciting. i know there probably won't be anything extraordinary which personally affects me within my lifetime, but that the possibilities just took a huge leap forward for the future of humanity, to my mind, of what the future might involve is phenomenal.

    even though i, personally, don't invest in it, the NASA space program is tops!

    i can't wait to find out what else will be uncovered when i consider some years ago Mars was considered barren and dry.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by RainbowsAndGumdrops View Post
    I have an honest question, so please don't ridicule me for asking.

    Why do people get so excited that Mars may have sustained or could possibly one day sustain life? Even plant life is exciting. Is it the thought that humans could live on Mars? Or is it a way of confirming that there is life (in some form) outside of the planet earth? I don't see that knowledge changing my life in anyway aside from cool facts. My final theory is that we love mars because of books like war of the worlds.

    I personally just find the rocks/ minerals / atmosphere facinating. I think they may even find new elements. I think that would be cool. But I don't understand the searching for life concept.

    I know so many people that are thrilled by recent findings on Mars. Can someone please explain more about why studying Mars and looking for life is so fascinating?
    Oh R&G, I have always wanted to ask these questions too, without appearing bah-humbug about it. I truly understand the scientific interest in the planet, but why the hoop-de-do about life there?

    My main thing is we have made a mess of this planet, may blow it to smithereens some day so I wish we don't get the opportunity to go tormenting whoever else who may be out there.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by montana_16 View Post
    Oh R&G, I have always wanted to ask these questions too, without appearing bah-humbug about it. I truly understand the scientific interest in the planet, but why the hoop-de-do about life there?

    My main thing is we have made a mess of this planet, may blow it to smithereens some day so I wish we don't get the opportunity to go tormenting whoever else who may be out there.
    but why the hoop-de-do about life there?
    For me, because many seem positive earth is the only place in the universe which could sustain life. i don't believe this to be the case and what has been discovered on Mars takes a step toward breaking it to people who keep to this belief.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by RainbowsAndGumdrops View Post

    Why do people get so excited that Mars may have sustained or could possibly one day sustain life?

    I know so many people that are thrilled by recent findings on Mars. Can someone please explain more about why studying Mars and looking for life is so fascinating?
    I find it facinating. I have always believed there is 'life out there somewhere' other than on Earth. I hope to be here the day it is discovered

  9. #9
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    I jokingly tell family that it's because NASA is really out in Nevada somewhere, in a secluded area.. that's why the soil tests for life.. cause it's Earth soil.. haha..

    I always get funny looks when I tell them that.. they aren't sure if I'm being serious or not.. mwahaha.. keep the mystery alive hehe

  10. #10
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    Dec 2005
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    LOL at the "conspiracy theory", meowy.

    Floh, my thoughts are "so what" if Mars can sustain life. It can probably sustain something that could be called "life", but for life as WE know it...it's not going to happen. So what is the point of all this expense? So we can say "Mars appears to be salty!" What is the payoff? There's probably something they are doing that's important to us, but I don't know what that is.

    Anyway, here's some info about the environment of Mars:
    http://www.windows.ucar.edu/tour/lin...ment.html&nl=6
    In spite of the fact that Mars has an atmosphere, the environment of Mars seems unfriendly toward life as we know it on earth.

    Mars is small, so there is not much gravity. For this reason, much of the atmosphere of Mars has drifted away. With little atmosphere, and no ozone layer, there is less protection from the ultraviolet radiation of the sun, which is very harmful to life.
    With little atmosphere, there is a only a small buffer between the surface and space itself. This means that the temperature above the surface is cold. With little atmosphere, there is only a little pressure, which sophisticated life forms such as humans need to keep blood from boiling. (Remember what happened to the characters of the movie "Total Recall" when they encountered the surface of Mars)!
    We know, however, that there are life forms on earth which can survive in very harsh environments. In the past, liquid water flowed on the surface of Mars. With a liquid water habitat and a thicker atmosphere, life may have once thrived. More exploration of Mars is needed to determine if life was once present there.


  11. #11
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    I think it's interesting to consider what plants could have grown there. The atmosphere is so different from ours. Plants that grow in our oceans don't survive in our air here. If they had plants at one time and there was the big explosive hit I've been reading about, then some seeds could have come here from mars. I'd like to know which ones. I'll consider the possibilities until it's proven conclusively otherwise.
    My passion is Geology and I can't wait until the Mars' soil and rock has been evaluated and released in a public report.



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