DailyDirt: Water On Mars (Again!)

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

For decades now, scientists have been looking for, and finding, evidence of water on Mars. Some might remember that Dan Quayle even said, “We have seen pictures where there are canals, we believe, and water.” Quayle wasn’t exactly right about the surface of Mars, but it does appear that liquid water exists on Mars during Martian summers. The liquid water on Mars wouldn’t look familiar to most people, though, as it’s only a liquid brine that flows when it’s just above -23 °C. However, there could be more liquid water somewhere that we haven’t seen yet — and that might make Mars more hospitable to life as we know it.

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Comments on “DailyDirt: Water On Mars (Again!)”

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Roger Strong (profile) says:

NASA is planning an asteroid mission because that’s the corner they’ve been painted into by Congress.

They’re getting the Space Launch System – AKA the Senate Launch System – and Orion because Congress wanted to keep the standing army of Shuttle engineers, technicians and SRB/external tank factory workers employed.

But with even that underfunded, there’s no hope of funding for a lander for the foreseeable future. Nor any habitat module or Mars Transfer Vehicle needed for a long duration mission to Mars. Should any lunar or Mars mission be approved in a few years, there’s a decade wait time for a lander and other hardware to be designed, contracted out and built while SLS and it’s engineers and technicians are mothballed.

And so NASA’s mission is to figure out “What can we do with SLS and Orion, but no lander or long-duration human flight.”

Even the asteroid retrieval mission ain’t happening. Consider the lead time needed to design the retrieval spacecraft, contract it out, build it, launch it, wait for it to arrive at the asteroid and wait for it to bring back the asteroid to the earth/moon system. That project needed to start years ago.

SLS will launch a test flight or two, and then the program will shut down for lack of a mission. But that’s some other Congress’s fiasco, a few years in the future.

Roger Strong (profile) says:

Re: Re:

There’s also the Pope’s visit, TPP talks, US special forces fighting again in Afghanistan, a federal election, Trump’s antics, Russia starting airstrikes in Syria, The Who launching a North American tour, the Yankees losing to the Blue Jays and countless other equally high profile current events.

Something happened at the same time as something else. What a coincidence indeed.

Anonymous Coward says:

NASA announced that it has discovered what causes “recurring slope lineae” (RSL) — which look like streaks of dark lines where fluid has run down a crater wall on Mars.

On small but significant correction to you description, RSLs appear when water is running down the crater wall. That is they show the actual presence of water, rather than where water once flowed.

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