Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Blue Mars? Green Mars?

NASA will be making a "major" announcement about another Rover Opportunity finding at 2:00pm EST. They are being very tight-lipped. The last announcement was about the finding of evidence for water in the "blueberries" found all over the landing site.

NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe will be making opening remarks - something he does not typically do for scientific findings, including the water evidence. I had thought this might mean that some evidence was found of fossilized life, but one of the scientists presenting is a sedimentologist and the announcement panel - so far - does not include a biologist.

Very interesting.

UPDATE: Seems that Opportunity is sitting on an ancient beach! From Space.com:

We think Opportunity is now parked on what was once the shoreline of a salty sea on Mars," Cornell University's Steve Squyres, principal science investigator for the Mars rover mission, said in a statement provided to SPACE.com prior to a press conference today.

The rocks would be excellent preservers of biological signs, if life ever existed on Mars, Squyres said. That makes Meridiani Planum a prime target for future missions that would search for evidence of past biology.
It's not fossils, but it's wonderful news!


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