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View Full Version : Life on Mars? - Will it 'save' NASA?


job
Jan 31, 2004, 04:05 PM
If evidence or even microscopic life is found on Mars, will that revitalize NASA?

With the sucess of the two rovers, the public is once again focused on the space program, and for once, because of good news.

If life, or something unexpected is found on the surface, will it motivate us to support a manned mission or more robotic probes?

JesseJames
Jan 31, 2004, 04:18 PM
They need to retire the shuttle. Work on the next generation SST. The promise of a single stage to orbit.
Then work on more advanced robotics. To see if there's anything worth going to in person.

job
Jan 31, 2004, 04:34 PM
But is orbital spaceflight really that important to justify spending the billions it would take to replace the shuttle?

Satillites and capsules can be launched with traditional rockets, so what would be the purpose of a new SST be? A space taxi for the general public?

wdlove
Jan 31, 2004, 05:15 PM
For NASA to succeed it is very important that they find evidence of water on Mars. Other wise it will be years before any further exploration of the planet occurs. Just like it happened in the 80's. You are correct it's not just Mars that will save NASA, they need to build the next generation of SST.

ColoJohnBoy
Jan 31, 2004, 08:05 PM
Life on Mars. One of David Bowie's best songs. Too bad I didn't get to bloody see it here in Denver (Stupid drunken Cesar! You owe me $80!) Anyhow, wasn't lif already found on Mars in 1996? Nothing substantial, just single-celled organisms, but they did find fossils containg them, right?

Dippo
Jan 31, 2004, 08:46 PM
Originally posted by ColoJohnBoy
Anyhow, wasn't lif already found on Mars in 1996? Nothing substantial, just single-celled organisms, but they did find fossils containg them, right?

They found fossilized organisms in a meterorite in the artic that they claimed came from mars. Of course you can take their conclusions with whatever size grain of salt you want.

I think there was some evidence to dispute their finds but I am sure they will always have their hardcore believers.

applekid
Jan 31, 2004, 09:00 PM
I was listening to a recording of the popular radio show Loveline when they had Bill Nye (the Science Guy) as a guest. Nye was going on about how if we found a fossilized bacteria on Mars, that alone spark a huge interest in space again. And this was when the rovers were just launched. So according to Bill Nye, we'll see a huge spark of interest in space travel again and some generous funding for NASA.

OT: Anybody know whatever happened to the new show Bill Nye was supposed to make? It was called "Eyes of Nye". :confused:

Dont Hurt Me
Jan 31, 2004, 09:34 PM
Nasa using its resources to save the Earth from incoming meteors, comets, & asteroids to me would be a much wiser investment in the future rather then looking for microbes that might exist on mars or elswhere. A coherent mission to defend Earth from a real threat rather then chasing microbes & rocks on some planet. Nasa needs to to do a better job in educating the public. all we need is one big rock and it could be over. What are we doing now?

job
Jan 31, 2004, 09:41 PM
Originally posted by Dont Hurt Me
Nasa using its resources to save the Earth from incoming meteors, comets, & asteroids to me would be a much wiser investment in the future rather then looking for microbes that might exist on mars or elswhere.

eh?

Do you honestly consider it a 'real threat?' Did you watch Armeggedon too many times? :p :D

Dont Hurt Me
Jan 31, 2004, 09:46 PM
No but i did just watch Jupiter get slammed by a broken comet that had a explosion the size of our planet. Lets just pretend there is nothing out there coming ourway. after all it only wiped out the Dinosaurs.

Mr. Anderson
Jan 31, 2004, 11:09 PM
Life on Mars - ancient life maybe, not life there now. And besides, if they did find it - *everyone* - the US, Russia, Japan, China, Europe, etc. would be sending more robots to Mars to learn more. It will be one of the greatest discoveries man has ever made, finding life outside of the Earth, that we'll continually look for it, regardless of whether its true or not.

Personally, I think its just a matter of time - whether we find it on Mars, Europa, or outside the solar system.....

As for NASA, well, funds will pour in if they find something remotely life like :D And if they don't find it this time, we'll keep sending probes there until we do or we're totally convinced that it never happened on Mars.

D

Powerbook G5
Feb 1, 2004, 12:07 AM
If a big hunk of space rock is crashing down on Earth, I doubt there is much that NASA can do to defend us. There isn't much that can stop a massive rock the size of a moon that is coming down at 10,000's miles per hour.

tpjunkie
Feb 1, 2004, 11:30 AM
Well, in theory if you can detect it soon enough, it only takes a tiny movement to change its course enough to make it a miss instead of hit...a meteor that is deflected a million miles from earth would hardly need to be moved in order to miss the earth.

rock6079
Feb 1, 2004, 01:17 PM
Originally posted by job
eh?

Do you honestly consider it a 'real threat?' Did you watch Armeggedon too many times? :p :D

for those of you who think a comet, meteor or some type of space rock has no chance of hitting the earth. go read "A Short History of Nearly Everything" by Bill Bryson. Good Book. It will open your eyes a little more.

Dont Hurt Me
Feb 1, 2004, 01:55 PM
Its pretty amazing how short the publics memory is on things like the Jupiter Impact. Space is loaded with moving rocks and our planet is moving through space just as our solar system is moving around the milky way. I dont think the rovers will find anything other then some rocks and perhaps what we allready know and that is it had water once.
I dont think Life on mars is going to save Nasa because they wont find any. what Nasa needs is better goals with vision and better management to save Nasa. Nasa needs to stop loosing shuttles and Nasa still needs a better way to space. They still dont seem to be very interested in monitoring our solar system for Earth crossing asteroids,comets or meteors and with the President wanting to revisit the moon and wanting to revisit space capsules like Apollo i dont see the Space Agency doing anything but repeating what we have done 30 years ago.
Building a moon base sounds noble but i dont have confidence in Nasa nor the politicians to complete this and they would rather build weapons,bombs and a bigger defense Dept rather then open space. Even with all the B.S. coming out of George's mouth in the state of the union he didnt even mention the space program. I dont see Nasa doing much of anything except super conservative missions and of course those defense missions while wanting to let Hubble burn up in the atmosphere. Nasa needs Leadership and Vision and todays politicians arent up to it. But they sure know where to go to find those lobbyist and those campaign dollars dont they.

job
Feb 1, 2004, 02:26 PM
Originally posted by rock6079
for those of you who think a comet, meteor or some type of space rock has no chance of hitting the earth. go read "A Short History of Nearly Everything" by Bill Bryson. Good Book. It will open your eyes a little more.

I understand that comet/asteroid impacts are possible, yet I don't see the logic of spending all of NASA's budget on defense against something like that.

Dros
Feb 1, 2004, 03:29 PM
I think that bacterial life existed on Mars. And if it existed before, I think there is good chance there are still living bacteria. On Earth, there are bacteria that live deep (very deep) in the ground, and live off hydrogen and the energy from uranium deposits. Bacteria live at vents at the bottom of the sea. Bacteria live in nuclear reactors, so pretty much, if you have some, they'll evolve to live anywhere.

The surface is barren. But there is water, there is uranium, there is heat from the planet's core. It has been shown that is enough to sustain life here. Why not there? Europa... even better.

The rovers won't be able to find any of these extremophiles, though.

Grimace
Feb 1, 2004, 03:35 PM
a permanent base on Mars will follow shortly after the base on the moon....and the G5 Powerbook.

Powerbook G5
Feb 1, 2004, 03:39 PM
I can just see it now, on the new shuttle they build for the trip to Mars, NASA will have a full contract with Apple to provide PowerBook G5 systems to the crew to operate all systems, but upon launching, there will be a note:

"We owe you 20 PowerBook G5s, but due to the delayed ship dates, they won't arrive until April of next year, thanks for your patience. Apple, inc."

Dont Hurt Me
Feb 1, 2004, 03:50 PM
Originally posted by job
I understand that comet/asteroid impacts are possible, yet I don't see the logic of spending all of NASA's budget on defense against something like that. Nobody said spend all of the budget on this. right now they are spending a tiny amount of the budget on this while shuttle continues to eat up all those dollars while sitting on the gound getting more obsolete by the day. I guess they will need 3 shuttle failures before giving up this turkey.