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Mars Mystery: Has Curiosity Rover Made Big Discovery?
Space.com ^ | 11/20/2012 | Curiosity

Posted on 11/21/2012 3:19:55 AM PST by djf

NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has apparently made a discovery "for the history books," but we'll have to wait a few weeks to learn what the new Red Planet find may be, media reports suggest.

The discovery was made by Curiosity's Sample Analysis at Mars instrument, NPR reported today (Nov. 20). SAM is the rover's onboard chemistry lab, and it's capable of identifying organic compounds — the carbon-containing building blocks of life as we know it.

SAM apparently spotted something interesting in a soil sample Curiosity's huge robotic arm delivered to the instrument recently.

"This data is gonna be one for the history books," Curiosity chief scientist John Grotzinger, of Caltech in Pasadena, told NPR. "It's looking really good."

The rover team won't be ready to announce just what SAM found for several weeks, NPR reported, as scientists want to check and double-check the results. Indeed, Grotzinger confirmed to SPACE.com that the news will come out at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union, which takes place Dec. 3-7 in San Francisco.

The $2.5 billion Curiosity rover landed inside Mars' huge Gale Crater on Aug. 5, kicking off a two-year mission to determine if Mars has ever been capable of supporting microbial life.

The car-size robot carries 10 different instruments to aid in its quest, but SAM is the rover's heart, taking up more than half of its science payload by weight.

In addition to analyzing soil samples, SAM also takes the measure of Red Planet air. Many scientists are keen to see if Curiosity detects any methane, which is produced by many lifeforms here on Earth. A SAM analysis of Curiosity's first few sniffs found no definitive trace of the gas in the Martian atmosphere, but the rover will keep looking.

Curiosity began driving again Friday (Nov. 16) after spending six weeks testing its soil-scooping gear at a site called "Rocknest." The rover will soon try out its rock-boring drill for the first time on the Red Planet, scientists have said.


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++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Yet another announcement about an announcement. But I read a couple other short blurbs, and it's being described as "historic" and "earthshaking"...

So who knows. Maybe the real deal?

Personally, I think the political and military spectrums will announce they found Obamas real BC way before they announce life!!

1 posted on 11/21/2012 3:19:58 AM PST by djf
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To: djf

dog poop?


2 posted on 11/21/2012 3:21:41 AM PST by shalom aleichem
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To: djf

Just in time for this “historic event” and its overwhelming impact on the good that NASA does when the budget talks over sequestration will be taking place.

Apparently, they’ve learned something from Breitbart about “Slow-Release News Programming for Maximum Impact.”


3 posted on 11/21/2012 3:27:11 AM PST by Gaffer
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To: djf

4 posted on 11/21/2012 3:36:48 AM PST by Neidermeyer
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To: Gaffer

I think it’s more like they have to talk to all these entities and governments and get permission...

I’m still kinda miffed they didn’t put a decent microscope on board. They got 17 cameras, but they couldn’t mount a half pound microscope???

Of course just because they didn’t SAY there’s a microscope, that doesn’t mean there isn’t one...


5 posted on 11/21/2012 3:40:19 AM PST by djf (Conservative ideals help the poor. Liberal practice help them STAY poor!!!)
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To: Gaffer

Trump learned that


6 posted on 11/21/2012 3:40:38 AM PST by reefdiver
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To: Neidermeyer

It found graffiti saying “Kilroy was here”.


7 posted on 11/21/2012 3:46:16 AM PST by monocle
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To: djf

Dec 21 announcement?


8 posted on 11/21/2012 3:52:32 AM PST by motor_racer (Pete, do you ever get tired, of the driving?)
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To: motor_racer

Article says sometime Dec 3-7

But I hear ya. I thought about that connection as well...


9 posted on 11/21/2012 3:58:25 AM PST by djf (Conservative ideals help the poor. Liberal practice help them STAY poor!!!)
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To: djf

Can opener?


10 posted on 11/21/2012 4:00:47 AM PST by Candor7 (Obama fascism article: http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/05/barack_obama_the_quintessentia_1.html)
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To: Candor7

Not sure, but I’m thinking it might be biological.

There are only so many times the can snow the people with these stupendous, ground-breaking announcements of a coming announcement, only to end up showing a bunch of slides and then they say “See...? We found quartz crystals!!”

Yawwwwwwwwwwnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn...


11 posted on 11/21/2012 4:04:32 AM PST by djf (Conservative ideals help the poor. Liberal practice help them STAY poor!!!)
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To: djf

Voting slips with McCain checked off?


12 posted on 11/21/2012 4:05:59 AM PST by Renegade
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To: djf

So it’s not the moon that’s made of cheese?


13 posted on 11/21/2012 4:06:44 AM PST by Hardraade (http://junipersec.wordpress.com (I will fear no muslim))
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To: djf

The MAHLI can take photos down to 14 microns per pixel.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_Hand_Lens_Imager


14 posted on 11/21/2012 4:09:00 AM PST by mvpel (Michael Pelletier)
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To: shalom aleichem

Naw, better than that, I’m guessing a Twinkie :)


15 posted on 11/21/2012 4:12:37 AM PST by snoringbear (Government is the Pimp,)
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To: djf
I made the same comment back in 1976 when the Mars Viking Lander's instruments
detected evidence of life and then it was dismissed as a possible anomaly.
You would think a microscope would be as least the second instrument you would select.
16 posted on 11/21/2012 4:13:04 AM PST by Falcon4.0
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To: mvpel

I knew there was a new form of microscopic imaging in development. They showed it on the Today show, where the inventor/sponsor? held it in the air over somebodies arm, and it showed clear images of the cells lined up nice and regular.

Bacteria and stuff like that are usually alot smaller than mammalian cells, though.


17 posted on 11/21/2012 4:14:56 AM PST by djf (Conservative ideals help the poor. Liberal practice help them STAY poor!!!)
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To: shalom aleichem
A remnant mothballed starship?

SAVE NASA FROM THE OBAMA BUDGET CUTS!!

Photobucket

18 posted on 11/21/2012 4:15:17 AM PST by Candor7 (Obama fascism article: http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/05/barack_obama_the_quintessentia_1.html)
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To: djf

19 posted on 11/21/2012 4:18:37 AM PST by McBuff
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To: mvpel

Yep, the old microscopes of my childhood are pretty much passé much like my 35mm camera.


20 posted on 11/21/2012 4:21:43 AM PST by Aevery_Freeman (The trouble with the "masses" is that they never achieve the "m")
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To: mvpel
Picture snapped by MAHLI, 1 MM scale bar at lower right.



No wheres near enough resolution to see micro-organisms.
21 posted on 11/21/2012 4:22:05 AM PST by djf (Conservative ideals help the poor. Liberal practice help them STAY poor!!!)
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To: Falcon4.0
You would think a microscope would be as least the second instrument you would select.

You have to have a lightweight microscope capable of surviving launch atop a huge pile of high explosives, nearly a year in the searing radiation of deep space, and a scorching descent through Mars' atmosphere. And all that before having to send back images across a little radio antenna to a receiver that's between 35 and 250 million miles away. Just on the off chance that you'd see something more interesting than a tiny grain of dust.

22 posted on 11/21/2012 4:25:11 AM PST by mvpel (Michael Pelletier)
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To: Neidermeyer

Excellent!
Great post! :-)


23 posted on 11/21/2012 4:25:49 AM PST by Bobalu (It is not obama we are fighting, it is the media.)
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To: djf

24 posted on 11/21/2012 4:41:51 AM PST by JRios1968 (I'm guttery and trashy, with a hint of lemon. - Laz)
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To: djf

Life died out due to the lack of CO2? ;-)


25 posted on 11/21/2012 4:43:55 AM PST by Average Al
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To: djf

It discovered romney ballots from cuyahoga county


26 posted on 11/21/2012 4:57:58 AM PST by JohnBrowdie (http://forum.stink-eye.net)
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To: motor_racer

They’re lining up the muslims now to take credit for the discovery, whatever it is.


27 posted on 11/21/2012 4:59:38 AM PST by treetopsandroofs (Had FDR been GOP, there would have been no World Wars, just "The Great War" and "Roosevelt's Wars".)
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To: djf

I KNOW, I KNOW!

obama’s birth certificate!


28 posted on 11/21/2012 5:04:18 AM PST by V_TWIN (obama=where there's smoke, there's mirrors)
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To: Aevery_Freeman

I have 2 Canon AE1’s with tons of lenses and accessories. Still use them!


29 posted on 11/21/2012 5:06:26 AM PST by prisoner6 (Right screw up! Wing Nuts bolt the Constitution together as the loose screws of the Left fall out!)
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To: djf

30 posted on 11/21/2012 5:06:46 AM PST by Dallas59 (President Robert Gibbs 2009-2011)
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To: djf

Life sustained by arsenic comes to mind.


31 posted on 11/21/2012 5:08:38 AM PST by sonofagun (Some think my cynicism grows with age. I like to think of it as wisdom!)
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To: djf
Marvin
32 posted on 11/21/2012 5:08:38 AM PST by PowderMonkey (WILL WORK FOR AMMO)
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To: Dallas59

I’ve seen hi-res workups of the Patterson film.

It’s clearly a female.

It’s clearly not a human in a costume.


33 posted on 11/21/2012 5:10:46 AM PST by djf (Conservative ideals help the poor. Liberal practice help them STAY poor!!!)
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To: Candor7

Pop top.


34 posted on 11/21/2012 5:18:56 AM PST by Eric in the Ozarks (In the game of life, there are no betting limits)
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To: monocle

No, it was “get off my lawn.”


35 posted on 11/21/2012 5:22:56 AM PST by Vermont Lt (The dude abides.)
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To: PowderMonkey

36 posted on 11/21/2012 5:28:33 AM PST by reagan_fanatic (You are not now, and will never be my President, Mr. Obama.)
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To: Dallas59

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5LUt-9AvNs

This one is pretty stabilized, and if you watch close, you can see the swinging breast, which, if this was a human female, would be about 2 inches above her belly button.

Note the arm length - almost to the knees. Humans simply don’t have arms like that.

And the shoulder muscles from the back are entirely different from a human female.

Except for the upright gait, this animal is built more like a mountain gorilla than a human, who is built more like Pan Troglodytes, or chimpanzee.

Clearly not a human female in a suit.


37 posted on 11/21/2012 5:40:23 AM PST by djf (Conservative ideals help the poor. Liberal practice help them STAY poor!!!)
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To: djf

38 posted on 11/21/2012 6:19:01 AM PST by ohiobuckeye1997
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To: djf

maybe they found oil, or coal

So much for “fossil fuels” and that lobby


39 posted on 11/21/2012 6:24:38 AM PST by silverleaf (Age Takes a Toll: Please Have Exact Change)
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To: djf

The real birth certificate?


40 posted on 11/21/2012 6:35:31 AM PST by bgill (We've passed the point of no return. Welcome to Al Amerika.)
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To: mvpel
Oh I agree 100%
But then why send an instrument that your going to doubt the results of?
They did send a camera and it survived. Certainly a microscope, which is little more than a stack of glass lenses would make the trip.
Of course you'd have to have machinery to select samples and load slides, but they sent machinery to select and process samples.
However, in their defense. It's always easy to play Monday Morning Quarterback.
41 posted on 11/21/2012 6:38:44 AM PST by Falcon4.0
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To: mvpel
You have to have a lightweight microscope capable of surviving launch atop a huge pile of high explosives, nearly a year in the searing radiation of deep space, and a scorching descent through Mars' atmosphere.

Atomic Force Microscope at the ready.

42 posted on 11/21/2012 6:39:58 AM PST by spokeshave (The only people better off today than 4 years ago are the Prisoners at Guantanamo.)
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To: Falcon4.0
Certainly a microscope, which is little more than a stack of glass lenses would make the trip.

ATM scans a microprobe over a surface...works in air (and in biological materials) and has a resolution down to large atoms.

43 posted on 11/21/2012 6:43:45 AM PST by spokeshave (The only people better off today than 4 years ago are the Prisoners at Guantanamo.)
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To: bgill

Either that or my car keys...

I hope their next “major announcement” is that they won’t be making any more “major announcements”!

Just put out a press release. That’s how everyone else does business.

New game on FB:
NASA Trolling for Dollars...

Zynga could make a billion, if even one of them was a decent programmer!


44 posted on 11/21/2012 6:44:14 AM PST by djf (Conservative ideals help the poor. Liberal practice help them STAY poor!!!)
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To: Falcon4.0; djf
IMO the Viking results were rejected too quickly, probably to save face after the initial hubbub. There is still no consensus as to what chemical reactions could have produced the exact results recorded. There was only so much analysis possible with the limited data obtained. But contrary to what we have been told, Viking's Martian microbes were never completely ruled out, but were set aside in light of the unexpected soil chemistry and its poorly understood effect on the instruments.

Perhaps Curiousity will finally settle the matter. But I doubt it. Nothing short of a sample return mission will suffice to remove all doubt.

45 posted on 11/21/2012 7:00:48 AM PST by jboot (This isn't your father's America. Stay safe and keep your powder dry.)
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To: jboot

Like the “rabbit on Mars”? Hoagland says that after a few days, NASA drove the rover over it and crushed it.

http://marsrovers.nasa.gov/spotlight/opportunity/b19_20040304.html


46 posted on 11/21/2012 7:16:38 AM PST by djf (Conservative ideals help the poor. Liberal practice help them STAY poor!!!)
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To: Candor7; djf

Close on the opener.

There’s an asian woman who reports NASA stuff for NHK or some other Japanese station. Supposedly they found a a metallic CocaCola bottle cap (the ones that require a bottle opener). Today most of them are screw off caps except for Mexican coke that still uses glass bottles and caps that also need openers.


47 posted on 11/21/2012 8:21:16 AM PST by tsowellfan (Allen West for Speaker!)
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To: silverleaf

DRILL BABY DRILL!


48 posted on 11/21/2012 8:24:16 AM PST by bolobaby (Hostess closes? Atlas just shrugged in yo' faces, union beyotches!)
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To: djf

Maybe it’s a macro organism. ;-)


49 posted on 11/21/2012 8:24:29 AM PST by Lee'sGhost (Johnny Rico picked the wrong girl!)
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To: tsowellfan

They would announce they found the Loch Ness monster on Mars before they would announce something like that.

A Coke bottle cap on Mars would mean one thing, and one thing only.
Man has already been there.

OK, two things.
Man was there.
And he was thirsty.


50 posted on 11/21/2012 8:28:34 AM PST by djf (Conservative ideals help the poor. Liberal practice help them STAY poor!!!)
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