Wednesday, December 06, 2006

NASA Press Conference

NASA (Never A Straight Answer) announced two days ago that it's going to hold a press conference in a few hours to announce "asignificant find on Mars". What's known is that they'll indicate that the Mars Global Surveyor mission is about at an end. There's speculation that they'll announce some other interesting items.

The scientists finally imaged the two Viking landers and their assorted debris from the 1970s along with the current rover Spirit. Considering how small they are from orbit that's quite a coup. A major blockbuster could be that they have proof of standing water on the surface of the planet, or some evidence of recent water erosion. Up to now official paradigms have insisted that Mars is too cold, too dry with air too thin to allow water to exist in liquid form. However ever since Mariner in the 60s there have been plenty of pictures like this of what appear to be seeps all over the face of the planet:

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Two years ago there were layers of dust on the Opportunity rover solar panels that were blocking sunlight and limiting performance. Then suddenly one night something happened that cleaned them off. Speculation was that some wind gusts did it, but when the rover took a picture of it's tracks down on the bottom it sure appeared as if there was a puddle. Did a rain shower clean the panels?

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Also food for thought - the probes have taken lots of pictures like the following which to my untrained eye look for all the world like vegetation. Up to now NASA and JPL haven't come up with any explanations for what this is:

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Are they going to announce definitive proof of life on Mars?


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