Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Breaking News: Mars Used To Be Warm And Wet.

Science Daily has a story today about "surprising" new evidence discovered by the Spirit rover that Mars used to be warm and wet. (Here.) Didn't the rovers provide this evidence already? Like two years ago, maybe?

We all know that Mars used to be warm and wet already. I've done public talks about Mars since the rovers first landed on Mars and audience members typically know about the water on Mars discoveries. How exactly is it that three years on it's dramatic and surprising that more evidence of past water is discovered? Is funding for the rover missions on the chopping block or something?

Wake me up when there's more evidence of present water on Mars. Or some other material that would be useful for humans once we get our behinds in gear and send some astronauts there to make the red planet our own.

Come to think of it, the Science Daily story is actually about the discovery of a patch of silica. Silica is a useful raw material for manufacturing different things like glass, porcelain, food additives, ceramic re-entry tiles on the Space Shuttle, among others. (Here.) Now that's interesting. There's stuff on Mars we can use to make things. Too bad the story wasn't about that.


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I was thinking the same thing.

When I heard about it, I was like "Yeah, more news from Mars" but after two paragraphs I was like "and this is interesting because?"

Everyone knows that Mars has a lot of water on it, etc., etc. so indirect evidence of what we have directly detected through indirect (channels) and direct (via images) methods is basically indirectly wasting our directed daily lives.

(whew! that was a tongue twister)

Your mention of silica was far more interesting than the "water part" itself, although they may have written it the way they did in order to draw traffic.
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