Life On Mars!

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The potential for Life on Mars.

Two young worms are the first offspring in a Mars soil experiment at Wageningen University & Research. Biologist Wieger Wamelink found them in a Mars soil simulant that he obtained from NASA. At the start he only added adult worms. The experiments are crucial in the study that aims to determine whether people can keep themselves alive at the red planet by growing their own crops on Mars soils.


Young worm, born in mars soil simulant [Credit: Wieger Wamelink, WUR]
To feed future humans on Mars a sustainable closed agricultural ecosystem is a necessity. Worms will play a crucial role in this system as they break down and recycle dead organic matter. The poop and pee of the (human) Martian will also have to be used to fertilise the soil, but for practical and safety reasons we are presently using pig slurry. We have since been observing the growth of rucola (rocket) in Mars soil simulant provided by NASA to which worms and slurry have been added. 'Clearly the manure stimulated growth, especially in the Mars soil simulant, and we saw that the worms were active. However, the best surprise came at the end of the experiment when we found two young worms in the Mars soil simulant', said Wieger Wamelink of Wageningen University & Research.

Read more at https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blog...produce-in-mars-soil.html#TP1TOrfBtdyE0u8k.99
 

MrRING

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We've gotplenty of Mars threads, so this seemed as good a place as any to place these... motion videos using data from Mars to give the sense of flying over it - not sure if they are using stills or CG...


 

eburacum

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We've gotplenty of Mars threads, so this seemed as good a place as any to place these... motion videos using data from Mars to give the sense of flying over it - not sure if they are using stills or CG...
That's definitely 3d CG imagery, since the hills move at slightly different speeds depending on the relief- you couldn't do that with a flat image, even if it were very detailed.
 

EnolaGaia

I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...
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It now appears that the 1970's-era Viking landers' instruments used to check for organic molecules may have inadvertently destroyed any organic compounds owing to the unexpected presence of a volatile compound in the Martian soil ...

NASA May Have Discovered and Then Destroyed Organics on Mars in 1976
Over 40 years ago, a NASA mission may have accidentally destroyed what would have been the first discovery of organic molecules on Mars, according to a report from New Scientist.

Recently, NASA caused quite a commotion when it announced that its Curiosity rover discovered organic molecules — which make up life as we know it — on Mars. This followed the first confirmation of organic molecules on Mars in 2014. But because small, carbon-rich meteorites so frequently pelt the Red Planet, scientists have suspected for decades that organics exist on Mars. But researchers were stunned in 1976, when NASA sent two Viking landers to Mars to search for organics for the first time and found absolutely none.

Scientists didn't know what to make of the Viking findings — how could there be no organics on Mars? "It was just completely unexpected and inconsistent with what we knew," Chris McKay, a planetary scientist at NASA's Ames Research Center, told New Scientist. [Viking 1: The Historic First Mars Landing in Pictures]

A possible explanation arose when NASA's Phoenix lander found perchlorate on Mars in 2008. This is a salt used to make fireworks on Earth; it becomes highly explosive under high temperatures. And while the surface of Mars isn't too warm, the main instrument aboard the Viking landers, the gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer (GCMS), had to heat the Martian soil samples to find organic molecules. And because perchlorate is in the soil, the instrument would have burned up any organics in the samples during this process.

The discovery of perchlorate reignited scientists' convictions that the Viking landers could have found organics on Mars. "You get some new insight, and you realize that everything you thought was wrong," McKay said. ...
FULL STORY: https://www.space.com/41140-mars-lander-may-have-burned-organics.html
 
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