A visual visit to Mars
August 4th, 2011
02:34 PM ET

Mars may have flowing saltwater, study says

Scientists have found new evidence for possible saltwater flows on Mars. The discovery was announced at a NASA news conference Thursday at the space agency's headquarters in Washington.

Alfred McEwen, lead author of the Science journal study showing these observations, and his team observed Mars using the HiRISE camera aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. His team identified features on some planet slopes that appear to fade in the winter and come back in the spring.

These flows occur near Mars' equator in its southern hemisphere, where temperatures would be suitable for liquid water. Since Mars is about 50 million miles farther from the sun than Earth is from the sun, temperatures rarely break the freezing mark. Before the new findings, water was thought to exist in the form of ice in Mars' polar regions, and has also been detected at mid-latitudes. This is the first time there's good evidence for liquid water existing on the planet.

At the equator, summer highs can reach 70 degrees Fahrenheit (about 20 Celsius). But in the middle latitudes, where the observations disclosed Thursday were taken, temperatures range from about 32 degrees F at summer noon to overnight lows of -75 F (-60 C).

The water implicated in the new study is expected to be briny because previous study of Mars has shown that its surface is salty. The flows are finger-like and small; nowhere near the size of major rivers on Earth. They are also very narrow: 0.5 to 5 yards, or meters, wide.

Seven sites with these possible liquid flows have been confirmed on the planet, with 20 to 30 more possible, scientists said. In some locations, there are more than 1,000 individual flows.

“What makes these new observations so interesting is they occur at much lower latitudes [closer to the equator], where temperatures are much warmer and where it’s actually possible for liquid water to exist,” said Arizona State University geophysicist Phil Christensen, one of the scientists who studied the images beamed back from the orbiter.

The study does not prove water exists, but identifies it as the best explanation. It's worthwhile to think about alternative reasons for these observations, but none seems to fit as well as briny water, McEwen said.

"I think it’s going to be laboratory experiments on Earth that give us the best confirmation or refutation," he said.

The water may be more dense and viscous than what we're used to on Earth, to the point that it may appear syrup-like.

So what does this mean for life on Mars? If organisms live on the planet, they might go into a resting state during winter, if Mars does have water that flows as a liquid in warmer times and freezes at others, said Lisa Pratt, professor of geological sciences at Indiana University, Bloomington.

"It is our first chance to see an environment on Mars that might allow for the expression of an active biological process, if there is presently life on Mars,"  Pratt said.

CNN's Matt Smith contributed to this report.

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Filed under: In Space
soundoff (977 Responses)
  1. Schmedley

    It's pretty sad that there are so many people here who have a "who cares" attitude about the space program.

    The science and search for life is just the icing on the cake. What do you think initially drove development of solar cells? Where did many advanced fabrics and materials and other things we use in our homes and cars everyday come from?

    Everything from batteries to UV resistant fabrics and other things you use daily and take for granted were originally developed for the space program and military and then commercialized.

    The whiners here are probably the same people whining about us falling behind in math and science. Healer heal thyself.

    August 4, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
    • Scott

      Well said.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
      • Colin ( !!!!! )

        !

        August 5, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
    • Really!

      Hey Schmedley, I be a whiner! I'm also very well versed in math and science, it's my livelyhood. Unfortunately, I can't find a f***ing job here in the U.S.A.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
      • Interested pedestrian

        Maybe if they put more money into space exploration they would need more help in the math and science fields and you could get a job with them.....
        Just saying....

        August 4, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
      • BoomBoom

        Hey, Really! How can you claim that math and science are your livelyhood when you state that you can't find a "f***king job in the USA".........I mean they either are or aren't your livelyhood and at first blush it appears that they can't be since you're unemployed. I, myself, am a scientest and have been gainfully employed for the past 25 years. In those 25 years I've worked for 4 companies, three of which were shut down and moved overseas....fortunately weeks prior to the shetdowns I was contacted by my future employers who had of the impending shutdown and were interested in acquiring my services. The point is that here still are many companies in the USA that seek talent and hire scientist......good luck to you.

        August 4, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
      • Anonymous

        We've gotta go to Europe or Japan bro. They appreciate science and math there. You may even like it. I love both, spent a lot of time there while in the air force.

        August 4, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
      • JIm

        My math and science are not that great but I have a job. Maybe it is your personality? based on your single comment you seem like someone I would not want to work with.

        August 4, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
      • Technoidatx

        Maybe if you could actually spell livelihood you could get a job.

        August 4, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
      • Steve

        Now THAT'S 'Well Said' & were my thoughts exactly!! The 'flow' on Mars could be liquid gold & it sure as heck wouldn't help the 'average' person here on earth! How about taking care of the basics here first before you decide to throw any more money into space???

        August 4, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
      • Cheeto Dust

        Yes and it is the Space programs fault the economy is where it is at. Riiiiiight...

        August 4, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
      • crazycatman

        Maybe if you spent a little less time studying math and science and a little more time studying grammar and spelling, employers would read your resume instead of throwing it away.

        August 4, 2011 at 7:03 pm |
      • Chuck

        Space exploration = jobs & technological innovation.

        August 4, 2011 at 7:27 pm |
      • Hey Really!

        Why don't you move to your northern neighbor country, plenty of teaching Jobs. I just took plunge and cannot be happier!!

        August 4, 2011 at 9:03 pm |
      • Timetraveler

        If you're any good at all you can work on Wall St. You'd have work for crooks, but you'll be working.

        August 4, 2011 at 9:54 pm |
      • Rob

        You must not be very good at what you do then.

        August 4, 2011 at 9:58 pm |
      • OK

        OK Bill Nye then go innovate yourself a job like the rest of us innovators and quit looking for someone to hire you.

        August 4, 2011 at 10:33 pm |
      • Ralph

        Keep looking for that f......g job! Maybe if you lose the attitude, NASA will consider you with those good math and science skills.

        August 5, 2011 at 1:54 am |
      • blame it on the politicians and lazy americans

        blame it on the politicians and lazy americans

        August 5, 2011 at 2:43 am |
      • Jess

        Perhaps our math and science programs would be in better shape if we had "scientists" taking their "livelihood" from those fields, instead of "scientests" depending on them for their "livelyhood."

        August 5, 2011 at 6:13 am |
      • samuraishonan.blogspot.com

        Maybe it has to do with the choice of vocabulary you use.

        August 5, 2011 at 9:04 am |
      • Paul

        There are many people who can't find jobs and blame the economy or outsourcing but they never once reflected upon themselves and see why employers don't want to hire them... Before blaming others, make sure you are blameless first.

        August 5, 2011 at 9:41 am |
      • Raj

        Exactly that is why they are exploring Mars – so that people like you can be sent up there. No more whiners needed here!
        Wait... do you care about a slide down the Santa Maria crater? How about taking a dip in natural salt water jacuzzi spa?

        August 5, 2011 at 10:00 am |
    • Joe

      I think it's because people have other things to worry about. Like jobs and making sure to put food on the table every night. Maybe that's why nobody really cares about salt water on Mars while the market is down over 400 points.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
      • bose

        Dude, did you even read the original comment?

        August 4, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
      • Capercorn

        Yeah, and a lot of us math and science types rely on NASA to put food on our tables and pay off our expensive student loans. There is no need for the middle class to be waging war against the middle class.

        August 4, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
      • Whoseewhatsit

        ::facepalm::

        August 4, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
      • drew

        anyone who is more concerned about the stock market being down than a massive scientific discovery really needs to get their priorities in line

        August 4, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
      • jj

        There will always be those that succeed and are successful..likewise, there will always be those that underachieve.. it is life.. why stifle exploration...what will be the greater benefit to mankind?..welfare/unemployment checks...or NASA?

        August 5, 2011 at 2:27 am |
    • KennyG

      If scientist would set goals that make sense then more people would support their efforts. Trying to prove that life exists on Mars or anywhere in the universe serves no purpose other than to deny that God exists. Since that seems to be what most scientists believe, it is hard to believe that think otherwise (their motives). Science should explore and create things that would benefit those living on this planet. Fortunately, many inventions and discoveries have happened because of space exploration, but many more could happen if the focus was more realistic, and Earth bound.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
      • Tapati

        @KennyG, why doesn't life elsewhere simply show that God is enthusiastic about creating life? I don't see why the existence of God is dependent upon an Earth-only policy of creation.

        August 4, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
      • Jared

        The purpose is not to disprove God. If they can find life on other planets they can understand how life survives the environments that are hostile to us. With that information they could then hopefully develop a way for us to survive there. American views on subjects such as this are frequently tainted by the religiously charged atmosphere in their country. Space travel and exploration is being worked on by countries from around the world. In many of these countries religion does not have anywhere near the same impact on everyday life as it does in America. I live in Canada, so close to the USA that when I look out my living room window I see the Olympic Mountains of Washington State. Yet I've grown up in a country with gay marriage, government run health care and such complete religious freedom and tolerance that I honestly do not even know the religious affiliation of any of my friends or even of my cousins families. It is such a non issue in daily life, at least in the city I live in, that the idea that space exploration (especially that conducted without US participation) could somehow be tied to suppressing religion would seem ludicrous to myself and probably to many other Canadians.

        August 4, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
      • me

        Kenny, if G_d created the heavens and earth, wouldn't the discovery of life elsewhere only confirm and glorify G_d?

        I really don't understand close-minded people like you. You supposedly believe in an omnipotent G_d who literally has the power of creation, but you don't want to explore the beautiful universe of G_d's creation...? Kenny, I don't think it's G_d you worship. I think you are deceived. I think you actually worship the other guy.

        And please tell me some specific examples of "inventions" that "could have happened" if scientists restricted themselves to earth-bound research...? I'll make it easy for you – just name 3 things.

        August 4, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
      • Kenny of Salt

        Kenny, my homonymous brother...
        1 – The search for knowledge about Mars doesn't exist soley to disprove the existence of God (I'm not even sure what chain of logic one might use to try)
        2 – The possible existence of liquid water, and potentially living organisms, on Mars is; a) interesting just in itself, and, b) relevant to ongoing discussions about the origin and development of life on Earth
        3 – There is more to this than just the finding of a single fact (liquid water). The technology and analytical tools that were developed to make this finding also have inherent value and will doubtless find other now unforseen uses.

        there is no way of knowing where a line of investigation will lead, but it is clear that continued curiosity and exploration is vital to continued human well being.

        Peace

        August 4, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
      • Shawn

        Why would proving live exists somewhere other than Earth disprove a Creator??? Your nuts man lol. Im sure God has life evolving on many many many millions of other worlds. Why would you think it would only be here?

        August 4, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
      • Cadiz

        Whaaat? Uh, your statement makes absolutely no sense. Maybe you would be more comfortable in some other time like during the Spanish Inquisition when questioning anything could get a person labeled as against God and tortured to death? Grow up and start using the brain God gave you when she created you.

        August 4, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
      • adam

        Are you for real? Why would life out in the universe automatically mean "god" does not exist? Not that I believe he does, but why would life mean that? The Vatican has said its possible there is life out there.

        This is a major problem in america, not just with science, but with nearly any topic. There is a right and a wrong, a black and a white. In america shades of grays do not exist.

        August 4, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
      • Wzrd1

        Your computer comes from that science that is "trying to prove that God doesn't exist". Destroy that devil spawn.
        If you get injured or sick, do NOT seek treatment, you are disobeying God's will. AND those treatments are from those scientists "trying to prove that God doesn't exist". It's DEVIL SPAWN.
        Get real. Do you think that God is a moron that makes a vast universe ONLY for ONE little planet? Would finding some microscopic life on Mars erase your God? If so, your faith is weak and your wisdom non-existent.

        Here is what is REALLY going on, not your fantasies on religious persecution.
        NASA has probes on Mars. They have other probes in orbit around Mars. They are LEARNING about our solar system.
        Some of that learning helps people here, with new technologies, medical procedures and improved technologies.
        All the while, not caring one whit about any proof of the existence or lack thereof of any deity.

        August 4, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
      • Aletheya

        KennyG – your logic is ... impenetrable. And wrong.

        The thing you need to realize is there is nothing special about Earth, except perhaps that it's a water world that supports life. Earth in the universe is like one grain of sand somewhere in the world. The universe is so vast the human mind cannot even comprehend it all. And it is only one universe in a multiverse of infinite others. It seems likely that our universe teems with life, because it is primed to. If God exists, he created it that way. Do you really think this one little spec of sand among infinite other specs is the apple of God's eye? Get over yourself, that's too much hubris for one human being.

        Exploration and discovery is what makes it all worthwhile. If we're not going to push out and explore, even in our own backyard where a neighboring planet may harbor life – then there is no bloody point in any of it.

        One last thought – if we don't spread out and populate other worlds, we are ultimately doomed. A big rock will impact the planet, or some other catastrophe will happen, and we'll be wiped out just as has happened many times in Earth's history. We need to explore and colonize worlds like Mars, simply as a survival matter. Or doesn't that benefit people enough for you?

        August 4, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
      • JeB83

        Yes KennyG you're right. That's EXACTLY why scientists are searching for life on other planets.

        It's just like when they invented vaccines and antibiotics to DENY the LORD his holy right to inflict horrific diseases on people!

        August 4, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
      • mif991

        Agree with Tapati. I am a believer in God and throughly and enthusiastically applaud what our scientist are doing. If they discover life in other planet it proves nothing relative to the existance of God. I wholeheartily support NASA and our space program. Government should support space exploration.

        August 4, 2011 at 8:18 pm |
      • 21k

        shawn writes that god has life evolving on many different planets. i guess he's a scientist with a long view, and is very patient. because in that case it would have taken him billions of years to get to where he had created hitler. but of course did nothing to intervene in the murder of 6 million other people. this leads one to realize that if god does exist, he is certainly a sociopath.

        August 4, 2011 at 8:40 pm |
      • Whatever

        I will believe in god when he pays my rent! With ya G these other guys are just weird...

        August 4, 2011 at 9:01 pm |
      • XRAY.DL

        I don't see how proving life exists in other places proves or disproves a creator. I also think you're a bit off when you say that scientists want to disprove the existance of God. In my opinion – and granted this is my opinion – I don't think science will ever be able to prove or disprove the existance of God. "God" or whatever name you call him/her is a extradimensional being – according to the texts and whatnot he's of a different realm of reality (hence extradimensional). So, if God is beyond our ability to observe, we can neither confirm nor deny his existance, which... makes sense. I mean, it is called Faith. If we could prove – conclusively, that there is a God or Gods... It wouldn't be Faith, it'd be fact.

        I come from a family of very avid "old-school" fire-and-brimstone Southern Baptists... I despise them for close-mindedness. Science and Religion can coexist in perfect harmony because they are searching for answers to two different questions.

        Science: How?
        Religion: Why?

        August 4, 2011 at 9:20 pm |
      • Jason

        People like this annoy me. Science has nothing to do with faith. Truth is god didnt create us. Maybe theres a god like figure out there fine I can believe in that but evolution alone kills a lot of the faith bit and evolution is pretty much a proven fact at this point. So anything else science finds.... has nothing to do with killing some ones faith.

        August 4, 2011 at 11:01 pm |
      • ktisis

        The fundamentals of your point are sound. To put a finer point on it, it is not so much a race to find evidence to deny a creator (per se) but a race to show that "we are nothing special" and that "earth isn't important to God", etc etc. This, of course, is easily disproved, since God became a HUMAN to die on the cross to pay for our sins. He said that he "took on the nature of humanity" to die once, and that He would never die again. If there are sentient, moral, physical agents elsewhere in the universe, then, if fallen, there can be no redemption. Also, the scripture states that when God is finished with His plan for planet Earth, He "creates a new heavens, and a new earth"– it says in II Peter 3 that the "universe will pass away....and the elements will dissolve with fervent heat" (a reverse big bang-talk about "heat" death!?) So, the center of God's affection is His redemptive love for mankind in paying for our sins, and that His plan for the entire Universe is linked with His plan for earth. The immensity of the universe is to accomplish 2 things: (1) humble us from thinking too highly of ourselves (in other words-loved, but pretty insignificant–we are prone to ego) and (2) the power of the Creator to be able to create time/space/(matter/energy). Since the complexity of DNA precludes a non-intelligent origin, the possibility of "undirected" evolved life elsewhere is effectively zero. Those who study protein synthesis and DNA/RNA transcription do not buy into such "fad science" such as extra-terrestrial life. Read the latest (respected) journals, the research is conclusive. Specified complexity (such as DNA) has never been shown to be the result of non-intelligent causation. Ever. Additionally the existence of non-material realities such as logic, mathematics, and natural law defy a non-intelligent origin (Einstein). Throw in the law of cause and effect and this court case is over, only debated by those with an a-apriori agenda of skepticism, those who place their materialistic faith in bent spoons, aliens, and self-organizing matter.

        August 4, 2011 at 11:08 pm |
      • Johnny Hands

        @Kenny G, don't be such a pessimist – maybe God has left proof on Mars that he does exist – have you ever thought of that. We've looked on Earth for that evidence and haven't found it yet, so maybe it's on Mars.

        But seriously, I support unmanned missions, but do not support manned – too expensive, and no point to it. If there is a point to it, the politicians need to tell us what the point is.

        August 5, 2011 at 12:45 am |
      • KennyG = DUmb

        "Trying to prove that life exists on Mars or anywhere in the universe serves no purpose other than to deny that God exists." WHAT????????????????????????????????? ARE YOU SERIOUSLY THAT STUPID???????????????????????????????????????????????????

        August 5, 2011 at 1:05 am |
      • J

        Forget God. Sue your brain for denial of service,

        August 5, 2011 at 1:07 am |
      • Dog

        Its to to prove Santa Clause does not exist.

        August 5, 2011 at 2:01 am |
      • gaunt

        Firstly, what an incredibly foolish comment. Scientists are looking for life on Mars simply because, if life exists seperately on two planets in the same solar system, it mans that life is EVERYWHERE. Since evolution is a universal law, it would effectively be pretty telling evidence that we are not alone.

        Secondly, how shaky and weak must your faith be if you see boogeymen hiding in every lab and university, just WAITING to prove your god wrong! Frankly, there is nothing about life on Mars that inherently disproves God, though it would throw a big wrench into the beliefs of the real whackjob zealots of many organised religions: you know the ones who think they are unique and made in the eyes of God, and then use that feeling of being special to empower their hatred, their judging of others, their shrill abuse of anything different and their votes for the Tea party.

        Well, we can hope.

        August 5, 2011 at 4:32 am |
      • Saiyan5

        They already know life exist allover the place. Now the mind control system of religion would fall, and the sheeples will wake Up. That will not contradict the existence of the creator.

        August 5, 2011 at 9:37 am |
      • The Philosopher

        "I do not believe that the same god that has given us logic and reason has intended us to forgo their use." – Copernicus
        Why are you worried about scientists finding life on other worlds, your logic falls right in with the logic that the Earth is flat and the center of the universe aka the belief that we are so important to God that all things must revolve around us and us alone. Therefore there are no other worlds in your logic, unless you're using only the beliefs of your religion that benefit YOU. Also 90% percent of scientist believe in at least one god, so their motive is probably not to disprove religion. And who says this doesn't benefit mankind? It creates jobs, supports US industry, fulfills the many curiosities of humankind, and increases the demand for high education jobs. One final question, would space exploration be space exploration if it was only the exploration of things on Earth?

        August 10, 2011 at 9:50 pm |
    • petercha

      Very good point, Schmedley. Also, some folks don't seem to understand that the space program creates MANY jobs all around the country, not just in Cape Canaveral.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
    • Better Times

      I agree with Schmedley. A tough job market combined with (and caused by) a down economy makes it hard to think beyond the everyday concerns that lack of income creates, and rightly so. Immediate, intelligent investment is necessary to combat these problems but it can't come at the expense of more long-term benefits.

      As Schmedley noted, NASA and the space program resulted in groundbreaking technology that added jobs and revenue to our economy. This kind of investment does not pay out overnight but in the long run it can have a much greater (and more benificial) impact on our quality of life.

      August 4, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
    • spaz

      Meef..calalo speerk intronsoid

      August 4, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
    • Tapati

      @Schmedley, thanks for bringing this up. Too many people think about the costs and don't see the benefits right here on Earth. I remember an article about Robert Heinlein and how his life was prolonged by medical treatments that had their roots in technology developed for space travel. I've always thought that NASA should have a PR campaign with tv commercials about all the things we use every day that originated with the space program and especially, how many jobs were produced as a result in the private sector. Everyone says America needs to make more products here at home–we're missing an opportunity by not continuing to invest big time in space exploration. Those new products would be developed for the Mars expedition that so many say we shouldn't do. I'd love to see a comprehensive list of things we got from the space program. (Velcro is one amusing and often used item.)

      August 4, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
    • JJ

      Schmedley, you seem to living in your own fantasy world. It's called PRIORITIES. Look it up in the dictionary.

      August 4, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
      • matteo

        fuck you, you moron.

        August 4, 2011 at 9:30 pm |
      • slippery slope judge

        Jeez man. Can't we multi-task here? Can't walk and talk at the same time? What a loser.

        August 4, 2011 at 11:06 pm |
      • regertz

        If priorities are jobs, what could be better than high-tech, high-paying jobs that produce enormous benefits in spin-off technology? I think we're foolish not to be using our shuttle expertise to build a new fleet and plan a larger ISS in geo-synch orbit with an eye to development of space-based solar power. And begin development of a modular Earth-Venus-Mars platform to carry crews and equipment between the three planets (instead of a wasteful one-shot mission) Balance of course is necessary but surely such investment in the future better than blindly handing cash with no strings to any corporation that blackmails us by threatening to pull out of the US.

        August 4, 2011 at 11:18 pm |
      • BoB

        I looked up priorities in the dictionary. It doesn't say one damn thing about Schmedley's personal fantasy world. Dumbass :P

        August 5, 2011 at 5:32 am |
    • suferdude

      SURF'S UP!!

      August 4, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
    • Rich

      Have we really devolved to the point where scientific knowledge and exploration is frowned upon because it doesn't "make money" or make some mundane everyday product better? The advancement of human knowledge is, itself, a laudable goal. It saddens me to see so many "who cares" comments. The majority of people are far too shortsided to see that, and instead cheapen the whole discussion with childish one-liners.

      August 4, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
      • Rory

        Exactly, JJ (above) is a fine example.

        August 4, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
    • Amit

      Well dont get emotional on this, I feel even NASA is badly affected by funds, and to raise funds from Government they are creating worldwide sensation, think about it, Mars is one of the nearest to earth, but it still took so many years or decades to find water on surface, there are hundreds of probes roaming in space to find water or life but still they are not sure, I have really huge interest in space explorations and science, but wasting huge money just to find water on another planet doesn't justify any budget, unless there is a sureshot doomsday ahead..

      August 4, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
      • Sureshot

        There IS a sureshot Doomsday coming it's called a Meteor. Our planet has been hit by thousands of them and we will be hit by thousands more. It's not a case of if but when. Now I'm not saying it's gonna happen now, tomorrow or even for another thousand years, and who knows maybe we'll destroy ourselves before then. The point is, as a previous poster stated. Colonizing our solor system is a matter of survival for our species. Though I agree now at this time of debt perhaps we should perhaps spend less until we fix the global economy, but to say that it's a total waste and worthless is false.

        August 4, 2011 at 10:18 pm |
    • PerryComo

      It is not that people don't care, it is a matter of what is the priority at a time when we have famine and poverty roaming our Beautiful Earth. Knowledge of our solar neighbors is important. Many of the items you have mentioned, would have been developed much more cost effectively as a result of the modernization. If we put the same budget that we put in defense and space into innovative research, I can guarantee you that much better and more cost effective results shall be obtained. Believe me, I have been there and seen it happen.

      August 4, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
      • SciGuy73

        Do you have any idea what Nasa's budget really is? It is less than $20 billion a year. As a comparison, the research budget of the National Institutes of Health, just one government agency, is over $28 billion. We give away more money to foreign countries each year than we spend on Nasa. We spend more money on potato chips and pretzels in this country than we spend on Nasa. If you feel so strongly about about spending Nasa's budget for other purposes, then stop eating potato chips and send that money instead. Science is important. Without it, we would all literally still live in the dark ages. But then, I suppose some people still do.

        August 5, 2011 at 7:40 am |
    • Marc

      I agree completely. Except that I don't think we even need to fall back on the rationale of developing new technologies that benefit mankind (even though that is true) as justification for the space program. Exploration of our planet and the solar system and galaxy and universe beyond is worth doing just for the understanding we will gain. Imagine if we discover life someplace other than earth in our lifetimes! And what would it be like – even on a planet with likely nothing more than microscopic, simple lifeforms – such as Mars would likely be home to.

      August 4, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
    • Daws

      Don't forget the digital cameras everyone now uses. That tech was first developed for deep space telescopes.

      August 4, 2011 at 6:46 pm |
    • teepee

      you can forget about going to mars or any other planet until we learn to live and get along here...usa cannot go there without spending a lot of cash which we don't have. can't we just all get along?

      August 4, 2011 at 7:10 pm |
      • Gnarsh

        Those of us who don't have our heads firmly in the sand would love the chance to go to Mars, so we can get away from short-sighted idiots like yourself.

        August 5, 2011 at 10:37 am |
    • teepee

      really...who cares?

      August 4, 2011 at 7:29 pm |
    • Human

      In case you never knew.
      The residents of planet earth are not the only humans in the universe.
      We have a more advanced group of our race on some other planet with technologies more advanced than we could imagine.
      We ended up here because they cloned a group of people and set them here on earth as test subjects to see if we would take a different path as we evolve, and develop different forms of technologies they may copy.
      If you follow history closely you may realize that they have tried on numerous occasions to communicate with us, and change our path.
      Once upon a time mars might have been suitable for our race.

      August 4, 2011 at 8:29 pm |
      • Ken

        WTF???

        August 4, 2011 at 11:17 pm |
    • MINN3APOLIS

      Perfectly said

      August 4, 2011 at 9:00 pm |
    • cja

      Don'r bother with those silly "spin-offs" none where actually developed for space and they are not why we continue to go to space. There are better reasons to explore space, like so we don't remain ignorant. That is #1 by far. The only way to understand your self or your place or your solar system is to compare it to others and see where it fits in. The cost is small, less then $100 per year from each of us. Some people spend that every month on a cell phone contract

      August 4, 2011 at 9:05 pm |
    • jiwat

      To all,

      Explorarion is human nature and how how we as a civilization advance. First man dared to travel across the plains. Then into the mountainsof Arfica, Europe and Asia. Then across the seas like the Mediteranean and Brithish channel. In 1492 the Greatest explorer to date dared to cross the Atlantic and the "flat" world. In turn, the world was found not to be flat and North America was colonized by Europeans. Then there was Lewis and Clark who crossed this great country in the mane of "Exploration". Last of all in 1969 there was Apollo 11 that was the defining moment of human exploration, the moon landing.
      The one common thing with all of these happenings are that they are great events that will be remembered by all human for eternity.This country and world and its people need a "REAL" goal, and it is not to be a millionaire, billionaire, president, CEO, congressmen, or senator. Exploration has ALWAYS furthered human civilization not money, greed or power. Those three have always ended civilizations.
      The goal of Earthlings on Mars is what humanity needs. It will bring the world together and will prove to create more jobs, revenue and better educated indivduals than you can possibly image. Look at what crossing the Atlantic or North American continent did. Those two events started some of the most prosperous times in history.
      I am a mechanical engineer and I believe this goal would enthrill all engineers, physicists, chemist and all scientists in general. If there is 1 scientist who would not be thrilled to be part of a goal like "Mars" they are not scientists.

      August 4, 2011 at 9:17 pm |
    • Sen Viejo

      No development on Mars. Not much evidence of water, either. No highways, no hospitals, no college aid, no unemployment insurance, nothing. Ah, so this is where the Tea Party activists come from.

      August 4, 2011 at 9:18 pm |
    • Chris

      I certainly am one who wants more resources put into space exploration and programming. However, your argument is flawed. Please don't tell me you think innovation can only occur in the context of military and space interests. It may HAVE occurred this way, yes, point taken, but that's just a contingent historical development. So one can take your point and still argue that if money were taken from military and space spending, innovation would occur in other contexts, like environmental engineering or new travel technology etc. But again, I agree with your underlying sentiment.

      August 4, 2011 at 9:22 pm |
    • Chad

      I came to this story just to read the comments...I knew they would be lively.
      Unfortunately, while the spelling, grammar, and general intelligence of the "CNN comment crowd" (in general...and for lack of a better term) seems much better, there is still one common denominator:

      ALL OF YOU PEOPLE ARE CLUELESS ABOUT LIFE, IN GENERAL, AND WHAT REALLY MATTERS !!!

      Now, go on, trolls, and type some more meaningless sh*t, so you can feel gratified about you existence.

      As Ron White puts it: "Stupid is Fo-evva". :o)

      August 4, 2011 at 9:43 pm |
    • chris

      I AM ALL FOR EXPLORATION, BUT WHY ARE WE NOT BOMBING MARS WITH SEEDS , MICROBES , SPORES ETC.AT SOME POINT WE MAY PROVE LIVE EXISTS OR HAS EXISTED ON mARS but will that change our plans to convert it to our use ? We have gone out of our way to manipulate earth to our goals. Will that change on Mars. ?

      August 4, 2011 at 9:56 pm |
    • Smuker

      This is a ploy by NASA to spend more trillions of dollars of our hard earned money to explore Mars.

      August 4, 2011 at 9:59 pm |
      • slippery slope judge

        lol... no, that is what our defense budget is. Although trillions in space? All for it.

        August 4, 2011 at 11:10 pm |
      • Exar Kun

        Hold up a dollar bill. Now take a scissors and trim off the barest sliver of one end–that's how much NASA gets of that dollar. It's not even enough to get halfway to the ink, you moron.

        August 10, 2011 at 7:13 pm |
    • realist

      Agree.

      August 4, 2011 at 10:06 pm |
    • TonyNYC

      What's even worse is the statement "water is considered necessary for life". What an idiotic statement to make, when life can take many forms (pure energy, etc.). How limited our scientific minds really are.

      August 4, 2011 at 10:07 pm |
    • Brendose

      Looks like a bunch of up close pictures of old people. The fingers, the eyes.

      So, we're up on the moon by '69.....it's 2011, and we're getting screen saver shots of Mars??? Darn sci-fi movies......ruining my hopes and dreams. Screen saver, here we come!

      August 4, 2011 at 10:18 pm |
    • J.C.

      I actually took the time to find the log on this to say who gives a s**t. We got people starving in this world, we have an economy in the hole, because we are worried about lines on Mars instead ofhow to manufaturethings on earth. We are loosing out to Asia and borrowing money we don't need to in order to say we saw lines in space. Than the first thing I read is some fool saying we got batteries from the space program. 95% of our technolgy advances come from military programs, programs to defned ourselvs from other humans, not from bouncing around in space. Yes we may get technologies from the program, becaus people are develpeing items her on earth to resisit the climate in outerspace, but we don't find anything out there. It is ego driven scientist that want to say they did something first. Ego driven statemen who want to say "if we can put a man on the moon we can do anything." If this program is so great why are our children falling behind in science and math, why are thee advances not funneling down to our children? Let's get real, let's worry about our earth and our country and not about some lines out in Mars, seriously who is better off today because we found those lines? The grant writing scientist who is seeking more money from the US taxpayer is about the only one.

      August 4, 2011 at 10:23 pm |
    • logan

      even NASA admits they have no specific purpose for further space exploration, other than to explore. grow up.

      August 4, 2011 at 10:35 pm |
    • Emmanuel Goldstien

      I agree with Schmedley–It is sad how few people care about the space program or realize what a boon to our culture it could produce. Sadly, it seems that the less educated people are the ones that don't care, and of course the less educated in America are the VAST majority.

      August 4, 2011 at 11:01 pm |
    • just me

      Right on the money Schmedley! Problem is, the same people that think this is all worhtless are the same people who wouldn't be caught dead using a solar panel or any of the new technology. It's un-American to them. They think it's patriotic to burn as much oil as they can (i.e.: SUVs and pick up trucks). To conserve and think about the environment is a communist plot in their eyes. Climate change is a global scam to make Al Gore rich, and Barack Obama is a Kenya born socialist.
      In other words..... redneck idiots who think Fox news and Rush Limbaugh are voices from the Gods.
      Their only response to ANY news item is: a) How does this affect my taxes? or b) How does this create jobs?
      It's a true shame to see this once great society being ruined by handfull opf idiots who think they know more than the educated.

      August 5, 2011 at 1:11 am |
    • Ramon F. Herrera

      Hey, I am as pro NASA as you can possibly get, but my position is: "Mars and te Moon will still be there next century".

      August 5, 2011 at 1:15 am |
    • papia

      Actually a handful of people here in the USA understand the value of Math and Science, a vast majority just live off their talent and have no clue where all the innovations come from. That's why trivial shows like 'America got talent or something like that', stupid reality shows are so popular. Britney S., Paris H. etc. are the ideals of young kids. When did you see a popular show or something like that showcasing the scientists or brilliant students? Never! No wonder a lot of people don't appreciate space research.

      August 5, 2011 at 1:32 am |
    • dsenses

      If all these exploration is to prove we humans can live on Mars. We can't. Stop wasting precious money and focus on your building your heavy debt-laden economy. If it's liveable, the Aliens would have probably found it first.

      August 5, 2011 at 1:44 am |
    • brylle

      yes,.. another astonishing discovery by NASA... good works guys.. WE ARE NOT ALONE IN THE UNIVERSE.

      August 5, 2011 at 1:54 am |
    • Ketsanee Seehamongkol

      It is indeed fascianting studies. The sad thing is that we have plenty of life on Earth that is highly endangered, and nobody gives a damn. I know, becasue I try to contribute in saving the wild Thai orchids, but people could not care less. I guess the day when the orchids are extinct, some billionaire will finance an expedition to try to find a surviving fragment, but right now we kill what is under our feet and chase dreams. Ketsanee Seehamongkol, Chiang Mai

      August 5, 2011 at 2:44 am |
    • Me

      Space exploration is a waste of tax player's money. I am gald the shuttle has been grounded. The moeny should be put inot universal health care. The USA should also stop having wars.

      August 5, 2011 at 4:15 am |
    • D' Oh!

      You've got a point but to spend hundreds of billions and in the end they help the community with fabric and solar cells!
      The space program should be halted until unemployment in the US ends and other financial problems fixed. WE are wasting billions in space while people starve in Somalia

      August 5, 2011 at 6:09 am |
    • wasserball

      I'm a space program supporter, but the inventions that we utilize in our daily lives came at a tremendous and excessive cost. Even without the space program those useful inventions we take for granted would have come along anyway, simply because of commercial research and development.

      August 5, 2011 at 7:40 am |
    • Logan

      Two failed wars that have cost trillions, one of the worst education systems and unemployment rates in the developed world, some of the highest rates of cancer, diabetes and heart disease, but yeah, we should invest money on seeing if thee is water on mars, who cares indeed. Maybe we should fix the problems we have on this planet before we start focusing on another that really offers us nothing.

      August 5, 2011 at 9:12 am |
    • LibyanNina

      I wonder how people see space exploration as nonsense. How did people discover America?. No one expected at that time that there was still undiscovered land.

      August 5, 2011 at 10:39 am |
    • cocopuf

      Funds are also being cut for some space programs because choices have to be made over the US economy let alone the global one. Without jobs, the space exploration will grind down until things get better... in 5 – 10 years in my opinion. We cannot neglect the defense spending too much as well as the social programs that are also necessary to have.
      In other words, the sooner we CUT spending on unnecessary (for the time being) programs, raise some taxes on just about everything along with a balanced budget goal, the sooner we will recover and fly to Mars and see if there is a salt water for sure. Good day.

      August 5, 2011 at 11:32 am |
  2. Melissa

    Wow. Whoever wrote this article should have been checked by the editor before it was posted.

    That being said, this is very cool.

    August 4, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
    • Hi

      Wow! This discovery might bring the same level of utility as my new Y2k iPad app.

      August 4, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
  3. fromage

    Yay, NASA!

    August 4, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
  4. mavrick

    Its a teabagging party where is ole sarah and michelle they are hot milf's I bet I can educate them on the milky way

    August 4, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
    • XRAY.DL

      Wow. What's scarier is in the United States you have the right to reproduce...................

      August 4, 2011 at 9:24 pm |
    • scranton

      What a pathetic troll.

      August 4, 2011 at 10:34 pm |
  5. Michael

    Reading these comments shows me how near-sighted, selfish and uneducated the majority of the human race really is. How does ending the low earth orbit shuttle program have anything to do with unmanned exploration in our solar system?

    August 4, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
    • Piter De Vries

      The spice must flow!

      August 4, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
      • tinhorn

        no matter how frightening and sad it would be if it truely happened, but a giant sand worm devouring the first ever human space flight to mars would be epic.

        August 4, 2011 at 7:49 pm |
    • steven harnack

      I haven't gotten that far yet but I'll bet that they are also blaming President Obama for the shuttle stoppage when it was already a done deal by Bush in 2005. Par for the blamers.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
      • StarHunter7

        Obutt-tama, shut down the 'Constellation' program that was to supersede the shuttle program. Obutt-tama should be strapped to the outside of the next launch vehicle and go where no man has gone before.

        August 4, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
    • stymie

      Sadly, Americans are bringing the human race down. We're fat, lazy, and uneducated.

      August 5, 2011 at 12:29 am |
  6. KUNTSMASHER

    Debt has been personified and given value but in reality it doesn't exist as u or I as living entity. Everything people of fear and lack spout off comes from a place of frustration and general lack of knowledge as to why they exist themselves so you've been taught to state your opionions from an emotional place of allegiance to wherever group u identify with, without having spent anytime exploring ur own potentiality

    August 4, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
    • Matt

      wow, with a viewing name like yours I knew you would have something very insightful to say...

      August 4, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
      • teepee

        you know...over-compensating...for that little problem of his.

        August 4, 2011 at 7:32 pm |
    • Slam2260

      LoL !

      August 4, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
    • rufud

      potentiality?

      August 4, 2011 at 7:17 pm |
    • XRAY.DL

      Words come out of mouth not good in pesudo-philisophical psychobabble.

      August 4, 2011 at 9:27 pm |
  7. Sam

    NASA is preparing people for a slow dosage of what they have found so far through space exploration. There are or were civilizations in Mars, Moon, other other planets. We are NEVER alone. A cycle of catastrophe is common in planet earth. The funny thing is NASA supposed to be a civilian agency operating on tax payer money. Yep! give me a break.....What we have gotten so far are half truths, denial of truths or flat out lies....

    August 4, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
    • Really!

      So, you were included in the lay-off?

      August 4, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
    • Dave

      If I were you. I would seek professional halp. Pronto.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
    • Neeneko

      And your basis for this is what exactly?

      August 4, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
    • I'm with Sam

      Sam, I hear ya my intergalactic friend. And I must say, IT IS SOOOOOO COOOOOOOOOLD ON THIS PLANET

      August 4, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
    • Alex4life

      Well gee I'll take your word for it since you have such overwhelming evidence. How do you sleep at night man!?

      August 4, 2011 at 7:23 pm |
    • Fools laugh at their own ignorance

      Sam is right. There has been all kinds of evidence if u just pay attention to what you see and not what u hear. But it's easier for the mentally lazy to do nothing but laugh. :)

      August 4, 2011 at 7:30 pm |
    • samiam

      Hang in there Sam! Don't let these simpletons let you down. We'll put on our tin foil hats and show them!

      August 4, 2011 at 7:37 pm |
    • tinhorn

      10,000 year old gold mines, giza batteries, egyptian blue and chinese purple, levitation and sonic healing. We lost it all after the last ice age :( we are devo!

      August 4, 2011 at 7:54 pm |
    • BlameUS

      agreed but so many Americans don't understand and trust the little box they have grown into

      August 4, 2011 at 10:14 pm |
  8. blathermonger

    So.. the water flows down the slopes in the springtime, fades during the winter, then resumes flowing the next springtime. OK – so what replenishes the water that flows NEXT spring? Rain? Snow? Condensation? Underground rivers? Just sayin..

    August 4, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
    • Scott

      There is growing scientific evidence for underground water on Mars, definitely layers of permafrost that might thaw out seasonally in certain locations, but also possibly underground reservoirs of liquid water under pressure.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
    • Matt

      Don't forget how warm the inside of our planet is... Mars isn't too far off

      August 4, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
      • tinhorn

        yup, it's said that mars' core cooled quicker than ours did, reducing it's electromagnetic field making it unable to keep the rich atmosphere we have. It's still there however, and i feel it heats up in relationship to the orbits of it's two moons. Closer they orbit, more core movement, stronger electromagnetic protection for any atmosphere that hangs around. of course, i'm a lay person, and that's my unprofessional opinion.

        August 4, 2011 at 8:04 pm |
  9. buzzard crap

    When reading the other comments, I realize what a bunch of jerks that exist who were responders. I am one who is eager to explore space way more than we have due to my astronomical and geologic interests. No doubt, we will find so many things of interest it will boggle the mind. Who knows....if past explorations are any indication, what will be gained from our findings? I do agree that if there is life, we will screw it up somehow since man seems to be good at it based upon our history. As to our monetary costs, all are recovered many times over when one considers the things that have been developed and then cascaded down to us in our everyday lives.

    August 4, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
    • ohwell

      I nominate Buzzard Crap to be the first to fly to Mars (or wherever).

      August 4, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
      • Really!

        I second that! Can we get a show of hands?

        August 4, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
      • Mike

        I nominate ohwell for the chief of the CNN comment board! Folks, please try to keep your discussions adult and rational. ohwell pefers it that way and I think he's right. I'm just aghast at all the child-like and irrational comments on this board! Thank you ohwell for bringing this matter to our attention, I think that should take care of it!

        August 4, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
  10. L Dobbs

    Well, I guess we won't be able to grow weed on mars. Bummer.

    August 4, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
    • Really!

      Yes we will! They will have huge Brita water filtration systems, built by NASA, in place before we even get there.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
    • tinhorn

      i'm thinkin we could figure out a strain that would love the red sunlight, and thinner atmosphere. We just spread the seeds in wind protected gullies that will have regular water contact like johnny appleseed did, and come back in a few years. Sour diesel forests that we could build tree houses in.

      August 4, 2011 at 8:08 pm |
      • tommy chong

        ooohhh yeah

        August 4, 2011 at 8:44 pm |
  11. postoasty

    Saltwater tafy! That's whats flowing there.

    August 4, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
  12. Really!

    I think Hillary would make a wonderful ambassador to Mars. Pack your bags baby!

    August 4, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
  13. ohwell

    I remember as a kid watching the rockets take off from Cape Canaveral – they even had closed circuit TV in the school to watch them. it was inspiring because collectively, we all stood on solid ground – that we truly are a great Nation that can provide and defend for all. Today – it's an abortion of society, an anomoly of Democracy. Though I agree with you – I now fend against the ugliness of Government officials and the corporates (because you have to include them now with any governmental discussion) that pretend "it's like it was". Nothing could be further fom the truth.

    August 4, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
    • Mike

      Dude, seriously, who gives a sh!t about your trip down memory lane.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
      • NorthernDG

        @ Mike No matter what happens in this world... you'll still always be a major a$$hole.

        August 4, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
      • ekul

        And therein lies the problem with neo-conservatives.
        They can't see past yesterday. worst, they dream of a yesterday that only existed on TV.

        August 4, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
      • Mike

        @NorthernDG. Wouldn't have it any other way! bwa ha ha ha!

        August 4, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  14. Wade

    What is the value of letting any idiot (myself included) comment on stories? Really, what is it? If I'm reading a story about Mars or unrest in Syria, must I also have access to some dude's thoughts on God or taxes or how Obama is the Muslim communist antichrist. Everyone has opinions; they're not all equal and they don't all matter.

    August 4, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
    • Really!

      It's what makes us the superior species, opinion!

      August 4, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
    • Scott

      Wade, the reason is simple. It's not b/c CNN cares about your opinion any more than I do. It's about keeping you on an article and keeping you engaged (even if it's about relgion, politics, or something entirely different than the article), it keeps you on CNN and keeps their ratings higher. If you can get into an argument with some bozo about politics when discussing water on Mars, then it keeps their traffic artificially higher and keeps them employed.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
      • Really!

        God bless employment!

        August 4, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
      • Neeneko

        Not only that, but if people see a piece on a site where they can comment, and on a site where they can not, they will generally go to the one where they can and then go back again and back again and back again. Sites that do not have some kind of comment/forum system are getting less and less traffic as this type of feature increasingly becomes accepted as a default.

        August 4, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
      • AndyAtlanta

        Yup, I agree. It's like watching a train wreck in slow motion. You know it's going to end badly but you just have to watch.

        August 4, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
    • Yeehaw

      IMHO 90% of the opinions are just smack anyway (mine included). For me its a way to laugh in a time of crises (military unrest and conflict, tsunamis, heat wave, high unemployment, economic woes, gas prices, etc.). I always believed that if you can find humor you're less likely to go insane. Just saying...

      August 4, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
    • superior

      superior to what? you think you're speparate from the rest of the universe?

      August 4, 2011 at 9:15 pm |
  15. James

    Didn't we send like some probes and little crawly robot thingies to Mars already? So why is the existence of salt water on Mars inconclusive? Wouldn't that have been the 1st place we would have checked out? Somebody slap the guy who chose the landing spots for our crawly robot thingies in the face.

    August 4, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
    • D

      They didn't crawl, they rolled. And the thing we're taking the pictures from that discovered this possible water was used initially to communicate with the Rovers. Plus, it's a whole big planet ya know. Kind of hard to find exact locations going in blind.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
    • SuffolkGuy

      You do raise a good question. I guess they didnt know of these spots years ago when planning landing sites. Also the sites have to be plausible for a successful landing. Example, boulder strewn areas would likely damage or tip over a lander.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
    • suportivemom

      remember when mobile phones came out we were carrying bricks, now we have itty-bitty things. Technology evolves through communication and questioning. not all answers are correct the first time, and we will not learn if we are afraid of what we don't know and through fear pull the bag down over our heads. "why do we fall down? so we can learn to get up" Batman

      August 4, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
  16. Ian

    lets get our a** to Mars.

    August 4, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
  17. Skolo

    Maybe there are still Transformers on Mars......hmmmm.....

    August 4, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
  18. PullPinThrow

    I say, give Mars to the Tea-Party........ They can have the whole dang think :)

    August 4, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
    • Mortamus

      So we are going to spend millions to see salt water on Mars ummm we have plenty here in Callyfornya !!! idiots

      August 4, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
    • josh rogen

      do you even know what the tea party is or are you just repeating what your propaganda outlets tell you?

      August 4, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
    • ABetterSpeller

      thing*

      August 4, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
    • Scott

      Waste of a perfectly good planet.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
  19. Dork

    NASA needs more funding and support than it already has. Anyone who disagrees for reasons of a bad global economy is, well, brainless.

    As for the economy, just legalize marijuana – creates more jobs and more money for the government. One small step for man, one giant leap for getting out of debt.

    August 4, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
    • not a pothead

      Do you really think selling pot will yield 14 trillion dollars of tax revenue?

      August 4, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
      • SuffolkGuy

        No, but when they are high they will think it erases the debt. :)

        August 4, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
      • JoJoHiggins

        Not trillions, but 10s of billions, if not 100's of billions. Did you know that marijuana is the BIGGEST cash crop in the US bringing in around 35 billion a year? Not only will you have tons of job creation and the tax revenue from the legalization, think of all the money SAVED by stopping the war on drugs, or significantly reducing it, along with saving OUR tax dollars that are wasted on all all the non-violent marijuana "criminals" that are incarcerated. And that's only including marijuana for smoking. Add hemp to the picture and the money made rises even higher (no pun intended). Paper, clothing, food.

        And if you drink, you have no room to talk if you're against marijuana unles you're fine with being a hypocrite. Alcohol has been proven to be FAR more hazardous to yourself and the people around you than marijuana. Do yourself a favor and get educated on the issue.

        August 4, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
      • Narf

        Who knows, the retiring baby boomers who've been playing the role of stiff executive for the past 20-something years may indeed have quite a pent up demand for consuming massive amounts of pot once it is legal. Humboldt will be the new "wine" country.

        August 4, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
    • ZooLife

      People need to work smarter and harder. Not get dumber and lazier.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
      • JoJoHiggins

        Typical uneducated response. Marijuana does NOT make you lazier or dumber. Do some research rather than believing all the propaganda you've readily accepted.

        August 4, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
      • Mortamus

        Thats funny because I have been self medicating since 1964 raised two children and retired from two large company's and still in perfect health and still smoke everyday and I get done more every day then yesterday.....so your theory is all wrong and very far from the truth so quit telling lies ok?

        August 4, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
      • Todd G

        Unfortunately people have been very busy at that for decades now.

        August 4, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
    • JoJoHiggins

      Agreed and AGREED!

      August 4, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
    • Alfredo Fla.

      I agree.......

      August 4, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
    • Ric

      Don't forget hemp. It has many uses and grows well in our climate.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
    • NorthernDG

      I've know of four friends and family members who've been smoking marijuana daily for years and I can say, without a doubt, that their brains have been damaged from marijuana. They are incredibly slow to respond to questions, have very limited interests (who needs interests when your sitting on your sofa "baked" out of your mind), and exhibit strange, erradic behaviour from time to time.

      Bottom line is... given the choice of doing or not doing drugs, obviously not doing drugs is the healthier choice.

      August 4, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
  20. Total Recall

    And I was hoping this Mars discovery would be the existence of a three-titted woman. Just salt water? Damn.

    August 4, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
  21. justacomment

    Salt water huh? Now where did I put my beach towel....

    August 4, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
  22. JustThinkinOutloud

    Now...I'm no expert, but where there is salt water....there can be sharks...so....Mars is covered...with sharks.

    August 4, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      Unless its really really salty, in which case its not sharks but floating jewish holiday makers.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
      • Tallulah

        I wish you could hear me laughing at your comment! thumbs up^

        August 4, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
    • Amber R

      Holy hell.......

      August 4, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
    • Ric

      Watch out for the brine shrimp and sea monkeys.
      Imagine the mutations from the harsh solar radiation!

      August 4, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
      • Laslow

        Alien brine shrimp.... holy awesome, batman.

        August 4, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
    • JustThinkinOutloud

      IMAGINE WHAT IT DID TO THE FRIGGIN SHARKS! SHARKTOPUUUUUS!!!!! HOLYYYYYY SH******T!

      August 4, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
  23. steel

    Wow, it is real News, It is a shame

    August 4, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
  24. Kishore

    A whole lot of nonsensical replies touting progress and how small minded those people are who question this crap. None of these frickin' studies are ever conclusive, always have disclaimers like "may support life", "probability that there is life elsewhere", "groundbreaking research reveals tha life could sustain", yada yada yada. You have achieved nothing so far with this Mars exploration so any news now seems like you are desperately trying to get new funding going. And all those people assuming that I am a backward, small minded, douche who is against Science, you have no frickin' idea who I am so shut it. Just by supporting the Mars exploration, doesn't make you a scientist and not supporting doesn't make me a douche. Get the f in touch with reality, would ya?!

    August 4, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
    • Rj

      you have a right to your opinion but get your panties in a twist when others express theirs ? .Irony is the fact that you are calling others small minded....

      August 4, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      It wasn't that long ago that these studies were simply talking about the possibility of water on Mars, it was an unknown. Its further study from that that come up with results like these. Sorry that science and discovery are not happening at a pace that suits your attention span.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
    • Anonymous

      I guess that reality is that the earth is flat, the sun revolves around us, the universe is 6000 years old, Noah's flood was real, and god did everything right? There a'int no aleeins in the byebul ya'll!

      August 4, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
      • Kishore

        Deductive fallacy!

        August 4, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
      • Anonymous

        Okay, professor. Could you articulate exactly why life is exclusive to earth in a universe of billions of galaxies, planets and solar systems just like our own? Would you scoop up a cup of water on the beach and conclude there are no whales in the ocean?

        August 4, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
      • diz

        Deductive phallusy..!..

        August 4, 2011 at 9:35 pm |
    • Jdad

      You are absolutely right - You are a backward, small minded, douche.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
    • kardiac

      OK, you are a scientific douche.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
    • Aubrie

      do you have high blood pressure?

      August 4, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
    • Cliff

      Just to clarify: so are you saying that you don't support studies about Mars, or just that you don't necessarily agree with their conclusions?

      August 4, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
      • Kishore

        I don't support those people who "pour over photographs, identify a few patches and blobs here and there, grandiosely announce to the whole world that this is breaking news, pepper their reports with sufficiently vague terminology about how life is possible outside of planet earth, collect their paychecks and go home".

        August 4, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
      • Cedar Rapids

        'Kishore – I don't support those people who "pour over photographs, identify a few patches and blobs here and there, grandiosely announce to the whole world that this is breaking news, pepper their reports with sufficiently vague terminology about how life is possible outside of planet earth, collect their paychecks and go home".

        Then its a good job that isnt what these guys did then isnt it?

        August 4, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
    • Ric

      Rather than expand our knowledge of our universe, we can build more temples & churches.
      We can save a hell of a lot of money by just adhering to some religious book for "FACTS".

      Yah...lets get stagnant and crawl about the place like brainless bible-thump'n troglodytes.

      Do I hear an A-men???

      August 4, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
    • ya NASA

      You sound very angry

      August 4, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
  25. WhatWhatWhat?

    Every now and then I have a salt water discharge. At least that's what my girlfriend says it tastes like.

    August 4, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
    • breeze6839

      LOL :)

      August 4, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
  26. GSR

    Why no news on Nebraska or Obama's court date in Hawaii? Seriously this is "BREAKING NEWS". Ummmm, didn't they rovers actually find LIQUID WATER STREAMS comming from the side of a basin on Mars????????? Yes they did!!!!!!

    August 4, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
    • The Loon

      umm, no they didn't...they found evidence that water once flowed at some point in Martian history...they never found actual liquid water that still exists

      August 4, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
    • WhatWhatWhat?

      The water flows on Mars have been imaged since we have started receiving hi-res pictures of the entire planet. The supposition is that they have been flowing all along, we just couldn't see them. They are still flowing, intermittently, as we speak. Not the ancient past, the present.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
    • MyTake

      Really? You think a bunch of idiots that won't give up on a outlandish conspiracy idea is news? Go take a nap in your trailer.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
  27. Kristina in Canada

    @ Dave. there is no God you darn sheep! also how arogant to think Earth is the only inhabited planet in the infinite universe. Get over yourselves, Earthlings

    August 4, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
    • Dork

      Who are you to say there is no God?

      August 4, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
      • Kilcannon

        Who are you to say there is?

        August 4, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
    • FenceSitter

      Some say there is no god and others say there is a god. You are all in the same book as far as I am concerned because you all COULD NOT ACTUALLY KNOW.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
      • Dork

        You are right. You can't actually know. Evidence exists both ways. That's why they call it FAITH. Either way, no need to be condescending to another's beliefs if they don't correspond to your own. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Can't we all just get along?

        August 4, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
      • D

        That's why everyone should worship the Flying Spaghetti Monster :)

        August 4, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
      • WhatWhatWhat?

        Dork, we won't get along while people like yourself think that faith is not "hurting" anyone. You'll say, "Don't ridicule my faith, it's not hurting you". I hear it all the time. But the fallacy is, that your faith is driving political change that the rest of us non-delusional people don't like and are not going to stand for. When there is no discussion in the public arena about faith, that's when we'll get along.

        August 4, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
      • The Guy

        @Dork – There actually isn't any evidence to suggest there is a god. Just books full of man-made statements claiming there is. You show me one conclusive piece of evidence and I'll concede.

        And @D, I agree.

        August 4, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
      • nugget

        @D FSM FTW

        August 4, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
      • Jared

        @The Guy

        I don't know. I've seen a lot of things that science cannot explain. I saw a friend healed one day while we prayed for him. The injury was over 20 years old and well documented. I saw another man who'd had a serious back injury run around a church after being asked if he wanted healed. These weren't people from large crowds that might have been planted either, these are people I know.

        August 4, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
    • Dork

      @kilcannon – I actually never said there is a God. I just asked who that person was to say there isn't.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
      • Dork

        @WhatWhatWhat – you really have no idea what you are talking about. Just because you lack faith doesn't mean that is the end all, be all. Perhaps everyone who practices religion should not tolerate people like yourself. Contrary to what you might think, your opinions and beliefs, whatever those may be, are not absolute. They are just opinions and beliefs.

        August 4, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
      • WhatWhatWhat?

        And those are just your opinions and beliefs, blah, blah, blah. Mine are based on facts, yours are based on delusion. There is, and never will be, a way to equate them. You THINK you're right, but everyone who suffers from delusions thinks that way.

        August 4, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
      • WhatWhatWhat?

        There is not...

        August 4, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
  28. hammerdsteel

    I wonder if the nookie tastes salty on MARS too???

    August 4, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
  29. Bob Oso

    no worrees, we will just go to mars, kill the aliens and plant our flag and claim it as ourz. colonise it, send a king with a iron fist, populate it, rule it, destroy it, and move to another planet. si or no? I teenk si.

    August 4, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
    • ABetterSpeller

      worries*

      August 4, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
      • Bob Oso

        hey dumbass, it was deliberate! Get a life!

        August 4, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
    • ABetterSpeller

      The 'H' should be capitalized.

      August 4, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
    • ABetterSpeller

      ours*
      think*

      August 4, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
  30. me

    SURFS UP!

    August 4, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
    • Really!

      Funny!

      August 4, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
  31. RamblinLonghorn

    All you short sighted morons need to remember this. The entirety of Humanity exists on one planet. One gamma ray burst; one rogue asteroid or planetoid; one brutal solar flare; and humanity is wiped from existence.

    Actual flowing water on another planet with a near earth atmosphere and climate is one of the most important developments in our understanding of the solar system, not to mention the future for the spread of humankind.

    August 4, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
    • Jason Collins

      Near earth atmosphere?!? Incorrect statement of the year right there.... Better pick a better source for your facts!

      Atmospheric Fail.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
      • Dork

        What about RamblinLonghorn's comment prompted you to be a complete di*k? Chill out, man. It will be ok.

        What he was getting at is Mars is "close" to Earth's atmosphere in relation to other planets. Some people just really are douche bags.

        August 4, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
      • Cliff

        It would have to be altered quite substantially to support human life.

        August 4, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
      • Jason Collins

        @Dork – because failing to point out the wrong information perpetuates stupidity. See, it already got you!

        August 4, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
    • NJ

      There is nothing "near Earth" about Mars. It is a cold, dry dessert with an extremely thin atmosphere that cannot support human life.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
      • Yeehaw

        The same could be said about Los Angeles

        August 4, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
      • ABetterSpeller

        desert*

        August 4, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
      • Jason Collins

        See, you're wrong too! I live in Los Angeles! I'll have you know, we are not cold! It's a miserable 96 degrees right now, and the atmosphere is NOT thin, it's thick, brown, and somewhat the consistency of tar, hahaha. Ah, LA... Why breathe the air when you can chew it? Lol. hope you got the sarcasm ;)

        August 4, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
      • The Guy

        Jesus, @Jason – literal much? Take a joke, howdy.

        August 4, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
      • DeezNutzInYoMouf

        Cold dry dessert? Like fried ice cream? Sounds delicious! Tell 'em to bring me back one from the next mission, will ya?

        August 4, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
    • Aubrie

      Personally, I think the people that used to inhabit Mars thought the same way and came here when they messed up their planet....so are we going to ping pong back and forth???

      August 4, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
  32. mc

    Maybe we should stop spending billions trying to find water on far off planets and start looking for oil or alternative energy sources here on planet Earth.

    August 4, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
    • Greg

      No, we should create MORE and MORE tax cuts for the wealthy because they are job creators!

      August 4, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
      • Bill

        Ha, you are poor.

        August 4, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
      • DeezNutzInYoMouf

        No they are not. They just invest the money.

        August 4, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
    • Trippp

      Nasa's WHOLE budget is only about 18 billion per year. This mission was about 1% of that budget. I see nothing wrong in exploring other worlds in our solar system. Doing so just may lead to that energy you're looking for.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
      • Greg

        Sure those sound like small numbers in the big picture, but you're thinking like a lazy poor person. That will be paid for by very very hard working wealthy people. That's how people get wealthy. They work really hard. Have you ever seen a hard working poor person? Not for long, because they become rich! So don't go spending other people's money just because you're lazy.

        August 4, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
      • Cliff

        Actually Greg, I've seen many, many hardworking poor people–in fact, if things keep going the way they are that statement will soon encompass much of what was the middle class. For you to make such a statement shows that you are extremely wealthy and sheltered and/or extremely ignorant. And for your info, I know many people who were born into wealth and are very rich AND very lazy.

        August 4, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
      • SuffolkGuy

        No Child Let Behind ($32 Billion )cost twice as much as NASA in 2009 and accomplished what? Nothing! Even teachers detest it. National Science Foundation is less than 8 Billion why is NCLB worth 4 times the NSF?

        August 4, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
    • bostoncreme

      In case if our planet get destroyed for some reason, we need to find an alternate place where a human race can survive. Obviously assuming we know our sciences would know if and when that happens. Remember how our planet was destroyed once when an asteroid banged on it ?

      August 4, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
      • Cliff

        Technically, that asteroid didn't destroy the world but merely made it not inhabitable to many species (if you're talking about the event that obliterated the dinosaurs, remember that the ancestors of everything alive today survived it). Also, it would take a long time and way more funding than NASA has to make Mars habitable for a lot of people

        August 4, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
      • philip

        Actually, after reading these comments, I'm not sure if the human race should survive.

        August 4, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
    • Boris the Alien

      Why do you hate democracy? As a tax payer, I *want* my taxes to pay for this.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
    • XRAY.DL

      We have alternative energy sources identified...

      Ever heard of Thorium? Anyone? Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors? The MSRE Experiment? The Aircraft Reactor Experiment back in the 50's? China and India have Thorium Programs... While... the US? What are we doing exactly? Oh yeah, Oil Sands...

      One atom of Thorium has 1,000,000 times the energy density of a Carbon-Hydrogen bond.

      Just saying...

      August 4, 2011 at 9:36 pm |
  33. Kevin in Atlanta

    I'm disappointed by the amount of people that don't understand how significant a discovery this is. Where do you people think the technology that powers your cell phones, laptops, and flat screen televisions came from? Advances in science, aeronautics, and engineering all feed from our desire to explore other worlds.

    The ignorance on this planet is astounding.

    August 4, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
    • mc

      Spew your genius on us when the economy picks up a bit.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
      • Kevin in Atlanta

        Last time I checked, the creation of the technologies associated with exploration requires workers. Not scientist or astronauts, but average folks. You know, jobs....that thing this country is lacking right now.

        When the space shuttle program ended, how many people lost their job because of that?

        August 4, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
      • Greg

        Exactly. Those lazy poor people need to get off their unemployed butts and start spending money to get this economy going. The hard working wealthy can't carry it all by paying the taxes they got a break on because we had a surplus! Am I right?

        August 4, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
    • Rob

      It's only significant when peoples basic needs are being met. Like jobs, food, housing, etc. If a guy on Earth can't feed his family who gives a damn about water on Mars.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
      • Ted

        you might give a damn if one day a technology that was developed by nasa for such type of missions is used in some medical device and it saves your or someone you love's life.

        August 4, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
      • Trippp

        So castrating NASA is the answer to you and others not having a job? Like I stated, NASA's budget is only 18 billion per year. Compared to what our government spends on all the welfare, medicade, medicare its miniscule and the returns are gigantic. Keep you head in the sand but as soon as technology permits off world mining, and tourism you're going to see a growth in the human race thats never been seen in its history.

        August 4, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
      • Jack

        Maybe you should have wrapped it up and not had a family you couldn't pay to support. Food for thought.

        August 4, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
    • AL

      Kevin, I agree completely. But you did forget one more good thing it has done; wether the morons you are talking to know it or not, the space program has also helped with national security.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
  34. RMc

    Most estimates suggest that in about 6 million years the Suns growth will engulf the Earth and make it uninhabitable (if humanity still exists). Have any studies been done to see what Mars will look like at that time? I would be interested to see the results of such a study. It is our logical next home in the universal neighbourhood and it will undoubtedly look very different by then... an atmosphere like Earths perhaps?

    August 4, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
    • ohwell

      Gee, I can't wait.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
      • RMc

        Hold your breath.

        August 4, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
    • MidWest Mac

      I think you mean 6 billion years, with a "b."

      August 4, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
      • RMc

        I wish I did. Hawkings 'Into the Universe'. Million, with an M

        August 4, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      I think its billions, not millions

      August 4, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
    • Astrophysicist

      I'm sorry my friend, but the sun will be begin to expand in approx. 5-6 BILLION years. Not million.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
      • RMc

        The Sun is constantly expanding.

        August 4, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
    • Chemack56

      I think you mean 6 BILLION, not million which is a mere blink of an eye for he cosmos.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
    • nobody special

      shouldn't that read Billion (with a B), and not Million?

      August 4, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
    • RMc

      Semantics anyhow. Any of you complete such a study? Im merely seeking an answer for a question.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
    • FenceSitter

      You worry about the expansion of the sun. What about the fact that the sun has and will mcondinue to get hotter and the current estimate is we will be like Venus in 1billion years,

      August 4, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
      • ABetterSpeller

        continue*

        August 4, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
    • Nick

      sorry man the nuclear reactions to cause the red giant face and by extension either the Earth being engulfed or the Earth being pushed further out (which is also a possibility) won't happen for Billions of years...with a B.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
    • Yeehaw

      Maybe in 6 million/billion years our descendants will have "evolved" back to primordial soup so they can survive in salt water – "survival of the fittest" in its finest hour.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
    • steven harnack

      Try 6 billion and you will be closer, not million.

      August 4, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
  35. killallthewhiteman

    I always thought that NASA should send probes out in space to look back at earth from different distances and see what kind of data that they could come up with from looking at pictures. Comparing the pictures to what we know is actually happening here could give insight on things like this where it is just speculation from images.

    August 4, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
    • Ted

      scientists have probes do that all the time. they turn around and look at the earth so we can get data to compare other planets we find to.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
  36. Philip

    Why is this important? This discovery on the ONE other planet that we have touched makes it almost certain that liquid water is on some of the OTHER planets out there. And when we're thinking about a universe full of other planets, cranking up the odds for life by just a little bit ... it means the possibility is much greater that there is extraterrestrial life somewhere. A little liquid water on one planet may not seem like big news. But it implies so much more.

    August 4, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
    • Me

      still pure speculation, doesn't mean a thing. Either way it's useless information. Doesn't do me any more good than to know what color socks the US president is wearing right now

      August 4, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
      • Philip

        Do you ever wonder about the universe? Do you ever stare into the stars and question what's out there? Well, the story today is that we have a tiny bit more information. We know more about the universe and what's out there. And knowing MORE is actually very useful information for people who are interested in the big questions. And, admit it, aren't you?

        August 4, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
    • Papa Smurf

      Perhaps I'm wrong but isn't the temp on Mars something like -250 all of the time so how in the heck is it possible to have "liquid water" on its surface. Even if that water comes from underground boiling hot it would freeze the instant it hits the surface.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
      • Aubrie

        It has night and day and seasons just like we do... bigger extremes maybe due to lack of atmoshpere, but the temp fluctuates... It's not static.

        August 4, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
      • D

        Yes, you are wrong. There is not a single, constant temperature for the whole planet. It has regions, just like we do. They specifically said 'near the Equator', ie: the warmest part of the planet.

        August 4, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
    • Pdat

      Actually NASA already released a couple of years back that an estimated 1/3 of the stars in the solar system have one or more planets that have deep oceans on them.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
  37. john

    Who cares. Try fixing the planet that we are destrying now.

    August 4, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
    • Truthwillsetyoufree

      Shallow Hal....

      August 4, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
    • Joe Regular

      It's because this planet IS being destroyed that space science is so important. We can't wait until we're eating each other to start planning. It doesn't hurt to look.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
    • FenceSitter

      If all where like you then we would be fixing the world whilst still in the dark ages. By the way the world is not ending.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
  38. Franco

    This must have been rushed: "The water is expected to be salty because previous study of the planet has shown that its surface is salty, so any water that flows in the subsurface is going to be salty." It could have been a LOT clearer. I still do not know if the water flowing out is salty OR salty!

    August 4, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
  39. JOE

    Looks like Barbara Bush's face.

    August 4, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
  40. dfgh dfgh

    Fantastic article. Thorough and insightful. You can tell someone put some time into this one. Good stuff, CNN.

    August 4, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
  41. Jason

    If you can show one Nation/Civlization/Tribe that ever PROSPERED by cutting the investment of exploration and technology – I will glady never speak of the subject again. Your ignorance leads you to think of all of this as some kind of expenditure. Go to the grocery store to find an expenditure elmo....this is investment.

    How simple and incomplete some thoughts are...."fix our planet". I'll make you a deal....let's trade budgets....shall we? I'll give you EVERYTHING we spend on NASA in one year IF you give me EVERYTHING we spend on "fixing" this place....agreed?
    What fools....

    August 4, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
    • Joe Regular

      Great point. :)

      August 4, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
    • Truthwillsetyoufree

      If you havent gotten the email then you should investigate on your own because there are tons of things that were developed for space used every day in all areas of our existence. There a dozens and more articles answering this question. Do you know about Google? Then use it...

      August 4, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
    • ohwell

      Geez Jason...Chillax..I remember as a kid watching the rockets take off from Cape Canaveral – they even had closed circuit TV in the school to watch them. it was inspiring because collectively, we all stood on solid ground – that we truly are a great Nation that can provide and defend for all. Today – it's an abortion of society, an anomoly of Democracy. Though I agree with you – I now fend against the ugliness of Government officials and the corporates (because you have to include them now with any governmental discussion) that pretend "it's like it was". Nothing could be further fom the truth.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
      • Mike

        you said that already.

        August 4, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
  42. GuestColin

    It's all fun and interesting games until the zombies show up and chew your face off.

    August 4, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
    • wendybird

      You watch too much TV/movies, lol!

      August 4, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
  43. Goodstuff

    No one cares.

    August 4, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
    • billybob

      Sadly, you are probably right. No one cares about science anymore. We are being left behind. Here come the dark ages part2.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
    • gay

      Only Idiots dont care. and yo mama.
      Interesting stuff...

      August 4, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
    • Kevin in Atlanta

      Correction: Ignorant people do not care. Those of us who care to better mankind and further our understanding of the universe, as well as create new technologies from exploration such as this, care greatly.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
    • Truthwillsetyoufree

      How do we vote people off the planet... heres one....

      August 4, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
      • ABetterSpeller

        missing an apostrophe*

        August 4, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
  44. Pat

    Cool

    On a side note for all the people who wish to remain ignorant. Since 1956 NASA has cost 409 billion. The defense department cost 690 billion just for last year alone.

    Just something to think about when people say the space program cost too much

    August 4, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
  45. George

    This is just a small step in the long slow process of acclimating people to the truth about alien life. We are facing an invasion force from outer space but the government is keeping it a secret. That is the main reason for the one world government, so that we can meet the danger as a united world.

    August 4, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
    • Joe

      lol

      August 4, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
    • Richard G

      Ridiculous conspiracy theory much?

      First, why would an advanced intergallactic alien fleet care about such a non-advanced (relatively) species such as us?

      Second, why would they attack us unprovoked?

      Third, what proof could you possibly have to make you think this could even be possibly true?

      August 4, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
      • mike

        I bet you believe in jesus

        August 4, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
      • steven harnack

        Perhaps they don't "care" about us any more than you care about a bug that you step on. Why would they attack us unprovoked? Mankind attacks and kills all sorts of organisms that are doing us no harm, just 'cause we can.

        August 4, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
    • JoeJeo

      Hey George, I GET it....beleive me, I am ready – got a place in the Ozarks built over a quartz deposit – aliens HATE quartz – causes erectile dysfunction and abdominal bloating. And as for our politicians, I haven't heard one democrat or republican stand up for funding the alien defense network. I heard they have even considered closing area 51- disgraceful....

      August 4, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
      • steven harnack

        That quartz must have the same effect on humans and there must scads of it under the American southeast.

        August 4, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
    • matt

      wait is that true we are being invaded?

      August 4, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  46. james

    Can we move the red planet closer to earth?

    August 4, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
    • spaz

      all humans need to die...they serve absolutely no purpose other than self gratification.

      August 4, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
    • suportivemom

      wellllllll. First off, the gravitational pull exerted by both planets in a close proximity to each other would destroy each other, even if the prospect were at all feasible. and yes I do know that was a sarcastic posting. it was just so stupid it chapped my a..

      August 4, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
  47. Rami

    Who give it a crap what is going on at MARS, the stock market is down 3.5% and you tell me they found salt water there.

    August 4, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
    • jryan

      Who cares about the stock market? It bounces up and down constantly.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
      • Andy

        Who cares about you puny Earthlings. You get excited over the silliest things. The invasion is imminent, resistance is futile.

        August 4, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
    • Shamrock6

      Exactly. Who cares about the stock market? It's up. It's down. Whatever.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
    • wally

      lol..dude...what a loozer...get out of the bubble ur living in....theres more to life than making money on something that doesn't even exist...one day there will be speculation of a disaster and the stock market will plummit the next day the disaster will have been averted and it will go back to its old position...what the value being added or removed?

      August 4, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
    • Ted

      Rami...I am willing to bet that you have no idea how the stock market works.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
  48. UCFKnightman

    Don't drink it!!! It's poisonous!!! I wonder if Robinson Crusoe (on Mars) figured that out...

    August 4, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
  49. hawk75701

    A manned mission to mars would be great for the economy, unfortunately we need more technology in order for the astronauts to survive the trip due to the solar radiation. Without the Earth's magnetic field they would fry.

    August 4, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
    • Greg

      ... and the technology we eventually create for the astronauts to survive the radiation could be used here on earth for thinks like a nuclear plant disaster (Fukushima). Actually, come to think of it, it might be better if a few very wealthy people in the US were marginally more wealthy. Nevermind.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
    • D

      More tech would also mean more jobs!
      And I think they've sorted out the radiation bit, otherwise the moon astronauts would have fried too.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
  50. FreeUrChains

    @Safeman62, It may cost a billion to find out, but unclaimed Real estate is worth a lot more for future generations. I think America needs to claim mars, especially for water and oil :) Also, this press release just so happens to be released with American preparation for a mission to mars, huh funny coincidence...America has held back a lot to the public.

    August 4, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
  51. PATRICIA

    Great so we spent a huge amount of money we DON't have to find out Mars has water. Now what? Go and pollute that to? Go with some buckets and bring some fresh water here? Spend a hel of a lot more money when it would be easier to make the desert of Africa habitable or even just the areas that are not getting any rain anymore???? WHO CARES! FIX THIS PLANET BEFORE GOING TO ....... UP OTHERS!

    August 4, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
    • Sigh

      I do believe you are missing the point. Your line of thinking is the same as those who doubted the Wright brothers and their airplane at the time but see how that turned out? This applies to almost everything in science. Do you have any idea of the contributions that came from the NASA program? Also compared to a lot of other activities in the United States, NASA's budget is tiny compared to them. The amount of good vs the cost from NASA far outweighs a lot of other programs than people don't seem to complain about.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      Do you often find yourself on the wrong side of issues?

      August 4, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
      • Sigh

        If the issue is spending, no. Reduce spending. Complain less about the programs that waste not a lot compared to the big ones like military spending. It just makes sense. Why complain about NASA which for FY11 had a budget of about 12B and not cry murder over the military spending which was over 700B? Get your priorities in place. Would we still be safe with a $600B+? Probably. There you go.

        August 4, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
    • Schmedley

      It's pretty sad that there are so many "people" here who have a "who cares" attitude about the space program.

      The science and search for life is just the icing on the cake. What do you think initially drove development of solar cells? Where did many advanced fabrics and materials and other things we use in our homes and cars everyday come from?

      Everything from batteries to UV resistant fabrics and other things you use daily and take for granted were originally developed for the space program and military and then commercialized.

      The whiners here are probably the same people whining about us falling behind in math and science. Healer heal thyself.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
  52. jdog

    the amazing things we could do if STUPID people stopped killing each other and other STUPID people stopped being greedy.....stooooooooooopid people, sooooooooooo very stooooooooopid....

    August 4, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
    • FreeUrChains

      Star Trek is our dreams, let's start implementing a humanitary federation to explore space and share science to every race and country!

      August 4, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
    • Papa Smurf

      Abortion, the death penalty, and killing people is what is saving our planet!!! The more people die the less people on the planet to reproduce and pollute it!! Think about it Stupid!!!

      August 4, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
      • suportivemom

        so pappa smurf, you volunteering to be the next to die and not pollute the gene pool?

        August 4, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
  53. Quincey9

    So freakin' what?!?!?! Can we PA-LEEEEASE fix what we've done to this plant before we start looking at another?

    August 4, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
    • jryan

      Ignorance. Where do you think our new technologies and brilliant ideas come from?

      August 4, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
    • chris B.

      Moving a population of people off of this planet and onto another would be a huge step in the direction of fixing this planet. We're nearly 7 billion, should be around 10 billion in 2020. The more people we add, the more damage we do. Get a few billion off this planet and onto another and continue to explore other planets potential for habitation. We know that Venus; upper atmosphere is habitable and actually have some good idea's for floating cities. The moon, could also be a potential home for a smaller amount of people, especially if we can create low energy methods of creating artificial gravity. If we want to take any steps towards improving this planet we need to first get our population issues under control.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
  54. Left Wing Nut Job

    It's only money and if we run out we can just raise the debt ceiling again! It's only money...right? Why care about the country going down the econimical tubes....I wanna touch a space rock....or smoke one!!!!!

    August 4, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
    • Amuli Mani salem attur

      Yes ofcourse ur corrct..

      August 4, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
    • Right Wing Nut Job

      Stupid Hippie! Don't you know that raising the Debt Limit will turn us all communist and kill Jesus? All us Republicans warned you Dumb-o-crats during the good ol' George W. Bush presidency that you have to have a balanced budjit! That's why we didn't put the medicare drug plan IN the budget, or those two wars we had. Presto! Balanced budjit!

      August 4, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
    • Right Wing Sell-Out

      I await the space rock to come smash ignorance like yours and save this Universe from the virus called Man.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
  55. JT

    "The water is expected to be salty because previous study of the planet has shown that its surface is salty, so any water that flows in the subsurface is going to be salty."

    Sooooo.... it's salty, right?

    August 4, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
    • nugget

      lol Yo dawg, I heard you like salt, so I got you some salt so your salt can be salty.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
  56. Tsk tsk

    Yeah, right, who cares about progress, discovery?
    I'm much too busy buying into media fear mongering that the sky is falling because the stock market fell a bit more.

    August 4, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
    • Quincey9

      Shut the F up, you idiot. Do you even understand the topic?

      August 4, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
      • PR

        You have to be the complete idiot to not realize he's being sarcastic to those who think this isn't important, so take your own advice twit.

        August 4, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
  57. jdog

    let's go look...er...riiight the economy...

    August 4, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
  58. Jeff D

    I think what is important here is the realization that with water comes life possibilities. The idea that 'we aren't alone'.

    August 4, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
  59. marensoneperiam

    If water came from meteors that fell from space, wouldn't it be possible for some form of water to exist on all the Planets?

    August 4, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
    • Chris R

      Water is one of the most common molecules in the universe and many locations have water in some form – liquid, vapor, or ice. The problem is that life seems to require water in it's liquid form and that is it's least common form. Being that we've found some liquid water it increases the chance that there is some form of life on Mars.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
      • Kevin in Atlanta

        It also increases the chances of us being to travel the Mars and survive. I think that's one of the major hurdles we as a species wanted to overcome before we actually leave our comfortable planet: Can we actually survive somewhere else.

        August 4, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
  60. James T. Kirk

    We should spend more on NASA and less on a non-productive and wasteful military .

    August 4, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
    • Spock

      This military protects your sorry ass, pussy.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
      • Goodstuff

        fuck queef stank.

        August 4, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
      • Bones

        Why bring cats into this conversation?

        August 4, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
      • James T. Kirk

        Spock, I remember you being more intelligent than this. The military budget has doubled since 2001. Prior to that, I was just as safe as I am today. Conclusion; we can cut military budget back to pre-2001 levels and be just as safe as we are today. By the way, you died in The Wrath of Kahn.

        August 4, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
      • nugget

        I'm a combat vet. The only americans I remember ever protecting are by brothers in arms. Plz explain how anyone in the military has protected americans in the last decade by helping to prosecute pointless and expensive wars? Iraq = no WMDs, Trashcanistan = no bin-laden. Grats on drinking the kool-aid, dood.

        August 4, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
    • Thayer

      Nope. We need to end NASA and start anew with an agency that doesn't hide the truth from the public that pays for them. I would suspect they have had this information for many, many years. This is the tip of the iceberg on Mars. Look into how they smudge pictures of the surface of Mars to hide what's there. They've been doing that from the beginning. Smudging is the smoking gun. NASA blows.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
      • Chris R

        Look at the picture above. How is that smudged? Seriously, take off the tin foil for a little while and think about things rationally.

        August 4, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
      • D

        Someone needs a tinfoil hat today.

        August 4, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
      • Artofwar

        ....The Federal government is hiding a hell of a lot more than NASA could ever hide, so I guess your logic would command that the Federal government be ended and we should start anew....Artofwar

        August 4, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
      • Thayer

        I wasn't talking about that picture. As I said, look into it. There is quite a bit of evidence they do image tampering/smudging of pics. Sounds to me like your another one of those sheeple that buys anything the government feeds you. You most also believe life only exists on Earth.

        August 4, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
    • Scotty

      Stupid comment. You have no idea what the military does, and continues to do to protect selfish ingrates like yourself.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
    • Common sense

      What we need is a world space agency. Will never understand pride in someones country. The country itself and the people who run them could care less about you. oh yeah, but without countries, why would we have a military and then who is going to save my ass, since I am a pussy. Space exploration should be at the forefront. We have broken the rock we live on and will eventually (sooner than later) need somewhere to go or become extinct. Screw all the politicians and banks and the monetary systems and start living as humans, not Americans, English, Spanish, Mexicans, etc. We are all in the same boat. And it's funny how the military people can't imagine life without war. As much as you protect my pussy ass, you also get it into binds without my consent.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
      • suportivemom

        Unfortunately the formation of such a "league" would have to be neutral, and at this point I don't see the nations of the world allowing the formation of anything they could NOT personalty pull the stings on. The people of the world should remind their governments that.... people should not be afraid of their governments; governments be afraid of their people. unfortunately most people(not just Americans) have developed a lackadaisical approach to life. Untill we have a more active population all the time, not just at the voting booth I think we have pood the scrooch

        August 4, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  61. Jeff

    I love hot dogs!

    August 4, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
    • ohwell

      Me too. Mustard only.

      August 4, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
      • Derek

        I like just ketchuip on mine....yum!

        August 4, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
  62. HappyME

    Better spent doing science and finding out what we know and what we don't know than fighting useless wars, propping up the military industrial complex and spending all our money on wasted government handouts. 14 T in debt and rising. I'd rather it be spent on doing science and exploration/growth.

    August 4, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
  63. Nick

    Oh my gosh people. Not every article has to be about the economy. Yes the economy is in the sh*tter but that doesn't mean every journalist of every news agency needs to stop what they are doing and write about the economy. If you wanted to read an article about the financial crisis, why did you click on an article titled "Mars may have salt water"?

    August 4, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
    • ohwell

      Yo Nick. Where did the f'ng money come from to discover this 'beautiful and fascinating' fact? I respect your opinion, but in TODAY'S world, money IS an object. I wish it were'nt true.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
  64. Comrade

    Manned mission to mars would create jobs right here on earth. Someone has to build the spaceships, spacesuits, and what not that needs to be in mars for colonization. Plus there is probably a lot of minerals, rare materials that we could harvest from mars. Another big win. Mars is ours to exploit, people! $$$

    August 4, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
    • Joe

      Fact: If the moon were covered with gold bars, it would not be cost effective to go get them. Forget about mining in space...it will remain the stuff of science fiction for centuries yet to come.

      August 4, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
      • Zach

        Fact? Based on what?

        August 4, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
    • Mark C

      Rare minerals from Mars? You realize it would cost about a million dollars an ounce to bring anything back, right? Sheesh.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
    • Joe Regular

      Don't be so quick to condemn the mining of other space bodies. There are ways to deliver durable matter back to Earth or towards it from the Moon, asteroids, and probably from Mars too. Mass Drivers (railguns) are even being proposed to shoot raw materials into orbit from the surface of the Earth. Yes, mass processing of extra-terrestrial ore, water, fuel, and other vital items is many years away, but you have to start somewhere.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
    • Scott

      Mining asteroids for rare metals would pay for itself and more, and it could be done with existing robotic technology. So what's stopping us? Lack of leadership; short-term thinking; semi-literate American public that doesn't give a rat's arse about anything that requires more thought than punching buttons on a TV remote.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
      • suportivemom

        And who is at fault? We spend more time at work than with our kids because we struggle to keep them fed and a roof over their heads, yet we are rapidly falling behind in the educational levels of many other countries because..? Ultimately we who complain and moan are the one at fault, but we don't stand up to our governments educational cutbacks and end up raising ignorant (not stupid, totally different meaning) emotionally damaged and irresponsible children. who have been taught by their babysitters (the game stations) and their emotional supports, (their gangs) the easy and violent way.
        The games are not at fault, nor the music. It is the lack of parental guidance that doesn't involve violence that tells our kids, hey that stuff isn't real its pretend you don't do that in polite society.

        August 4, 2011 at 8:58 pm |
  65. @Safeman62

    Safeman – in 2011, NASA supporting activities budget was $12.78B and nation defense was $738B. Before you make accusations of like '$100,000,000" please do your homework and stop being ignorant. Remember the national defense budget isn't even considered a 'mandatory spending' expense when it comes down to the national budget.

    August 4, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
  66. ohwell

    In a related story, scientists discovered traces of yeast infections on Lady Gaga's costumes.

    August 4, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
  67. Robert

    Gross on the other side is always greener.I think we should start new economy in Mars which never go down.

    August 4, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
    • ohwell

      Wall Street and the BANKERS have already laid claim to the Milky Way.

      August 4, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
      • Gordon Gekko

        Yes we have.

        August 4, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
  68. Rj

    Finally a news topic that does not involve republicans and democrats strangling each other over the reforms....

    August 4, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
  69. e.

    finally...news that doesn't include lindsay lohan or any other lame celebrities.

    August 4, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
  70. Dave

    Great. Too bad we ended our Shuttle program!

    August 4, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
    • mike

      dont be so sure of that. Just because the shuttle program is officially ended doesnt mean there is technology existing that will take people throughout the solar system.

      August 4, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
    • Lorraine

      The Shuttle Program did NOT fly to Mars! The Shuttle were basically local buses that flew within our orbit

      August 4, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
    • TBM

      This is the first thing that needs to be done for man to go beyond LEO. The shuttle was a 30yo very expensive mistake.

      August 4, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
      • Lorraine

        Yes.

        August 4, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
  71. ohwell

    We could use an invasion right now. This is the prelude to public buy-in for NASA exploring Mars, nothing more. With the state of the world right now, they're banking on the premise that we all want to get the Hell out of here.

    August 4, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
  72. Dan

    The universe is full of water and life.

    August 4, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
    • Dave

      Life only exists HERE because we are created in the image of God, with no others sharing that honor. Yep.

      August 4, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
      • Orchid333

        @Dave – Ignorance must be bliss.

        August 4, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
      • Bill in Florida

        Sorry Dave, but your 2000-year-old beliefs don't stand a chance in the face of 21st-century science and technology.

        August 4, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
      • SCAtheist

        You know this how? I hope that you're being facetious.

        August 4, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
      • Frank

        If life only exist HERE as you said then there should not be a God in Heaven which is not in Earth according to the Bible so think about it Dave.

        August 4, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
      • D

        Methinks Dave might have been being sarcastic. (I hope)

        August 4, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
      • Mike

        The bible is the history of mankind only but clearly it says that there is life out there. It mentions God Almighty, his angels and the Arc Angel Michael (Christ) spirit creatures. Ancient Isrealites and the Christian Apostals agreed that they existed so Christians do believe there is life outside of earth. What the bible isn't clear on is if there is physical life like ourselves out there. It makes no mention of it. It simply says in the beginning God created the Heavens and the Earth.

        August 4, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
      • ry290

        Dave is being sarcastic...idiots

        August 4, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
      • AllKnowing

        Kid, I've flown from one side of this galaxy to the other, and I've seen a lot of strange stuff, but I've never seen *anything* to make me believe that there's one all-powerful Force controlling everything. 'Cause no mystical energy field controls *my* destiny. It's all a lot of simple tricks and nonsense.

        August 4, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
      • @ALLKNOWING

        "AllKnowing:
        "Kid, I've flown from one side of this galaxy to the other, and I've seen a lot of strange stuff, but I've never seen *anything* to make me believe that there's one all-powerful Force controlling everything. 'Cause no mystical energy field controls *my* destiny. It's all a lot of simple tricks and nonsense."

        OMIGOD!! HAN SOLO Quote for the Win!!! I love it!!! HAHAHA

        August 4, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
      • Dave

        Congrats to Ry for being the only one paying attention.

        August 4, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
    • jryan

      That's funny Dave. If you're serious, which I hope your not, then you don't understand jack about your beloved book.

      August 4, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
      • bwllm

        No, it just means he has a better relationship with his creator than he does with the man shaped tool meant to introduce. you really have no proper concept of christianity, but then again, most christains dont either.

        August 4, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
      • ohwell

        Took the words right out of my post, jryan.

        August 4, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
      • jryan

        Silliness. Blind silliness.

        August 4, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
      • bwllm

        great rebuttal Jryan, how often do you use that to trump your oppenents?

        August 4, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
      • Dave

        Oh yes. I'm super religious, alright! Out to prove that we don't need no mumbo-jumbo scieeeeeeentists telling us what's out there in the universe! We already know! It's all RIGHT HERE!

        August 4, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  73. JOE

    I just found a spot for Sara Palin, Rush Limbaugh and the Tea Party. Good ridence!. PS, Don't forget to write your uncle Sam from time to time. And don't forget to brush your teeth Sara. Bye bye now.

    August 4, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
    • SCAtheist

      Especially considering they don't believe in science!

      August 4, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
    • A. Jacques

      Why ruin Mars with those wastes of space. Send them to Mercury i say.

      August 4, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
      • Bill in Florida

        Or better yet, send them into the vacuum of space.

        August 4, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
    • AL

      Sure, let's get rid of anyone that would have the possibility of stopping the madness in which the current occupier of the White House has created.

      August 4, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
      • Scott

        AL, is so much gullibility painful? Ask Rush to spot you a few of his pain-killers.

        August 4, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
      • suportivemom

        Don't forget to spread the blame. The house and senate don't have squeaky clean bums either. remember the FAA.

        August 4, 2011 at 9:07 pm |
    • bobby

      there would be no Uncle SAM to write!

      August 4, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
  74. ualeem

    Lest send Sarah Palin.there. =).

    August 4, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
  75. Scooter

    Just another planet for us to screw up!!!

    August 4, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
  76. Modern Philosophy

    Everyone is complaining about the cost? Who cares.. it is probably about 0.01% of tax payers money. We spend almost 30% on our military and we don't even have a real war.

    August 4, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
    • Rj

      lol @real war.....

      August 4, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
    • bwllm

      Id rather be prepared for war than know if there is salt water on mars. seriously. Safety or currently speaking "trivial" knowledge

      August 4, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
    • MikeK

      but someone has to make money , even in this economy, somehow! Who cares if people in other countries get killed and the taxpayers get shafted!

      August 4, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
    • Sigh

      @bllwm – That's right. Have all the weapons in the world while we get surpassed by all other countries in terms of technology, education, etc. We're going to be a bunch of morons with weapons pointed at everyone else while they prosper. Great thinking.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
      • Scott

        The GOP platform in a nutshell.

        August 4, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
      • Sigh

        The question is, would we still be safe and still a top military power if we reduce our military spending by $100B? I'd still feel comfortable with our military having a $600B budget. If I'm wrong, all of you people that don't want to reduce its spending can have one of our 5,000 or so remaining nukes and wipe out the rest of the planet to feel safe. The ends justifies the means right? Sigh...

        August 4, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
  77. Nathan

    COME ON CNN – Get back to the real issue, Mars is minute...continued economic reform needs to be force fed down the congressional gullet. Stop making butterflies to confuse the public into forgetting they're in for a world of pain unless we actually have a resolution to this madness.

    inb4sparta

    August 4, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
    • MikeK

      blah blah blah, we are scientifically bankrupt and we will fall behind in the one area that we were best at, besides blowing stuff up, which we've been the best at since WW2.

      August 4, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
    • suportivemom

      Come on Nathan, we cant dwell on the war ALL the time, sometimes we have to stop and sniff the saline solution.

      August 4, 2011 at 9:11 pm |
  78. j

    Exactly how is this going to help the current planet we are on now? CNN and NASA is a bunch of morons

    August 4, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
    • jryan

      "are a bunch of morons"

      August 4, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
      • Jonny Cannuck

        Lol you got pwned n00b^^^

        August 4, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
    • JGB

      It would be "CNN and NASA are a bunch of morons," moron.

      August 4, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
    • MikeK

      correction:

      "j is a bunch of morons"

      August 4, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
      • johnny

        Haha! Moronic! Hahahah!

        August 4, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
    • Common Sense

      It saddens me to see how ignorant, short-sighted and one dimensional some people are. The information gathered from this kind of science leads to all kinds of benefits for mankind.

      August 4, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
  79. Lorraine

    How close are we to full disclosure? Something wacky is going on and it has nothing to do with politics or the economy. I dunno, there seems to be a bad vibe through out the planet.

    August 4, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
    • Gerry

      You sense that too? Any ideas?

      August 4, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
  80. bwllm

    Alien discover on my 21st birthday?!?!?! freakin score!

    August 4, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
  81. Pete

    They should have packed an ampoule of imported water on one of those rovers to watch what happens if they open it during the season and in the location where they think liquid water should be able to exist.

    August 4, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
    • Scott

      They know the temperature and pressure at the sites, therefore they know how water will behave. The Viking landers also carried water and mixed it with Martian soil, then studied the chemical reactions.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
  82. mike

    This is clearly the beginning of ufo/extraterrestrial disclosure. Anyone who does enough research can put the pieces of the puzzle together.

    August 4, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
  83. No Life

    I doubt if there is life on mars.

    August 4, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
    • jryan

      There's life in the ice of Antarctica. No reason to believe there's no life on Mars.

      August 4, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
      • jimbojones

        Except for the lack of any reasonable atmosphere on Mars that would be sufficient to sustain such supposed life in those extreme conditions. Scientists say "where there is water, the possibility for life exists." OK, fine. Until there is direct evidence of life observed on Mars, the existence of such life is dubious.

        August 4, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
      • XRAY.DL

        There's also life at the bottom of the oceans near magma vents with... no atmosphere to speak of since it's underwater. No sunlight. Only ambient temperature provided *by the liquid hot magma* (in Dr. Evil voice). No reason to suppose life could not exist on Mars. Albeit probably not "intelligent" life. Life could also exist on Europa. I'd say there's a good chance of it. And it's even farther away. Again, perhaps not intelligent... But then again, who is these days?

        August 4, 2011 at 9:40 pm |
    • ohwell

      There's no life on Earth, so WTF?

      August 4, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
    • CommonSense

      I am quite sure there is very little intelligent life left here on Earth.....

      August 4, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
      • Again

        And you are not exception to this!!!!!!! Idiot!

        August 4, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
  84. jryan

    This is no surprise to me. It was just a matter of time.

    August 4, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
  85. Cosmos

    Simply amazing. It's a shame that the great Carl Sagan isn't still here to be a part of this news!

    August 4, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
    • Right Wing Sell-Out

      Its a shame our leaders and heroes arn't more like Carl Sagan, and less like Arnold.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
  86. Biff

    To the ignorant tea party twits – this is why we give the government money – to learn things. You should try it some time.

    August 4, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
    • nobody

      Except that Obama and his cronies have put the axe to space exploration in favor of buying the welfare vote with more entitlements....

      August 4, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
      • Scott

        If you want space exploration then you have to invest in it. Does anybody see that happening with the Tea Party budget?

        August 4, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
      • suportivemom

        Now this may be a bit out there but let me throw it on the floor so we can all stomp on it.
        1. Nobody wanted to funnel money into the space program that was so riddled with you can't do thats' and like you can get funding for that...(NOT!) there were fewer scientific advancements being preformed than could be.
        2. Can the program and get fresh minds wrapped around the original civilian tenants for space exploration with fewer ties to the military's oooooh I want that and I'm not sharing, mentality.
        3. encourage the population that what was once a fantasy is now and will be in our grasp.
        We lost focus and excitement with the space program, now we have the light back on. For now it is dim and it flickers, but the dream has not gone out.

        August 4, 2011 at 9:30 pm |
    • lol

      so why did obama get rid of our future space program? oh thats right to give it to the mob run unions. good game lib

      August 4, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
      • Scott

        Typical tea bag trash– a conspiracy theory for everything.

        August 4, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
  87. Mike

    Countdown until some Teababy says this is a waste of taxpayer $$$... 3...2...1...

    August 4, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
    • Avhelp

      I am not a Tea Bagger Mike, but I invite you to drink all the salt water you want.

      August 4, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
      • Mike

        Desalination

        August 4, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
    • NWBill

      Hey, Mike ... why don't you put away your hatred of the Tea Party, and just talk about the discovery and the science of the story, OK? This isn't a political column; it's a science column. If you have a problem – take it somewhere else.

      Now, on to what I originally wanted to say; wouldn't Mars be an excellent location to send an experimental NERVA craft, so that we can both test nuclear propulsion in interplanetary travel ... while sending enough biology and geology experiments to find and test the saltwater? Two birds with one stone; an unmanned spacecraft with a nuclear engine, and the BIGGEST lab and science tools ever sent into space.

      August 4, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
      • Mike

        Thanks for the lecture Mr. Bill. I will take that into consideration from now on (SARCASM)

        August 4, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
      • Scott

        Good idea, but you can't separate science from politics or from the Tea Party in which science haters are overrepresented, and which wants a budget that guarantees the US will never be able to invest in space exploration again.

        August 4, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
    • ohwell

      Mike...grow up and try your best to think rationally.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
      • Mike

        Again, thanks for the advice, but kindly blow it out your a**.

        August 4, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
  88. Brian

    Makes me think of the Dr Who episode "Waters of Mars"...

    August 4, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
    • ohwell

      Smoke another bowl, Brian.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
      • Mike

        leave another snarky comment ohwell

        August 4, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
    • Doctor Who

      Waters of Mars... great episode there! :) I seriously do hope we can send some teams of robotic builders to create a few geodomes there... Its a pity that we are unlikely to see any human colonies on Mars in our lifetimes.. The only way for the human species to survive is to get off the planet... like a dandelion blowing seeds to the wind. Hey, and for the Bible people out there- God said Be Fruitful and Multiply. Not put all your eggs in one basket n die when I decide to Snuff you out again. Im WATCHING YEW....

      August 4, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  89. Kishore

    "The study does not prove water exists, but identifies it as the best explanation."

    Two things:

    1. Even if it is proved, so what?
    2. Why is this on the main page as breaking news when the whole global economy is going down the tube? Are there any immediate plans to migrate to Mars?! I didn't get the memo.

    August 4, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
    • ant

      And here he is Mike!

      August 4, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
      • Avhelp

        Ant, I bet you believe Clinton balanced the budget when in reality he added 1.5 trillion to the Fed debt and 3.7 trillion to the public debt in 98. IE: He robbed social security.

        August 4, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
    • Avhelp

      Another Internet Explorer IQ kind of story. Breaking? Yeah, the news is broken and Nasa just wants more money.

      August 4, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
      • Mike

        Guys, we should probably start checking with ^^this guy^^ before starting any scientific research. He clearly knows what is worthwhile and what isn't.

        August 4, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
    • tiki

      there's more important things in life than your portfolio

      August 4, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
    • joeNYC

      @Kishore – You think small.

      August 4, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
    • Bill

      You are a douche

      August 4, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
    • tiki

      btw – using chrome

      August 4, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
    • Rj

      The whole global economy topic has been beaten to death by news outlets before the recession hit.A little change of pace with news coverage like this one is much needed to keep the audience awake.

      August 4, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
    • MikeK

      Anything that sparks interest in science is good for the economy. We are turning into a society of mindless consumers while our science jobs go to 3rd world countries. Do you think that has been helping the economy?

      August 4, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
    • Mark

      We found out that our neighboring planet may have the conditions needed for life. That may mean 2 planets in one solar system could support life, making the probability of life outside our solar system pretty significant. Knowing if there is life out there is kind of a big deal in the grand scheme of things.

      August 4, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
      • Mark2

        Statisticly: 1. Infinte universe 2. infinte number of planets in said universe. 3. FINITE number of habitable planets. So the odds of life in the universe is ratio of finite/infinte a value so close to zero that there is no life in the universe.

        August 4, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
      • 1plus1

        Mark2,

        If the universe is infinite (and we're not sure it is), then the number of habital planets is infinite. Which has some very interesting consequences when you start thinking about it. It means that there are an infinite number of other earths out there. Basically, every possibility that could ever be – is. If the universe is infinite there is a world out there where you are president, and a world where the dinosaurs never died out, a world where the cuban missile crisis really ended in crisis, a world where you zigged instead of zagged, ad nauseum.

        August 4, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
      • NASA

        Mark 2,

        You can't calculate probability with infinite numbers. Your estimation on the probability of habitable planets and on the existence of life elsewhere in the universe needs some more work. Good luck!

        August 4, 2011 at 7:33 pm |
      • NASA

        Sorry to rephrase...infinity is not a number.

        August 4, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
    • Michael

      the colonization of mars has long been a goal of NASA as a matter of fact. i know a man who spent several years attempting to breed a strand of ecoli that would survive on mars, for farming purposes, as part of his biochemistry doctoral work. and before you say why, think of all the good that has come from space exploration. if you don't know what i'm referring to, go read.

      August 4, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
    • Denizen Kate

      @Kishore, you didn't get the memo because people with no imagination, curiosity, or vision will not be included when the human race finally breaks out of the confinement that is earth and begins to really explore the universe.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
    • ohwell

      Uh...Hello....it's a PR job kishore. Take it easy.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
  90. John in AZ

    I think we should send all members of the Tea Party to Mars...what with that protestant work ethic, and pulling themselves up by their bootstraps, they should have that place turned into eden in just a few years! Their limited understanding of science might be a problem...

    August 4, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
    • Nathan

      No, they will just pray everything better.

      August 4, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
    • CensoredTea

      Thanks, Obama for moth-balling the US manned space program.

      I'm sure the Chinese now have even more to look forward to when they land on Mars.

      August 4, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
      • James in AZ

        The decision to "mothball the space program" was made by Bush, not Obama.

        August 4, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
      • Cedar Rapids

        Yep, he cancelled the replacement shuttle plan and said instead that Nasa will concentrate on other programs like....hey, going to Mars.

        August 4, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
    • Publicus1776

      Actually, they couldn't handle Mars. Too much real science involved (notice the project managers systematic way of examining this - a scientific method!). They wouldn't believe what they found, instead they would try to make Mars exploration fit their Creationists theories. Can't live on a hostile planet like that.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
    • Denizen Kate

      I think we should leave them here and start a new human society on Mars (or somewhere out there) with no religious fundamentalists holding us down. Don't the Tea Partiers mostly disbelieve the science of climate change? I say let them stay here and continue to ruin the human habitat on this planet.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
      • vincent

        save today first if we want to save the future!

        August 4, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
  91. Wow

    People are losing their jobs left and right in this country because we're broke, but somehow we can find the money to spend to see if Mars has salt-water? Seriously????

    August 4, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
    • joeNYC

      @Wow – without NASA and spending on science in general, you wouldn't have your computer. That's just the start of what you wouldn't have....

      August 4, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
    • MikeK

      we're broke because all our Engineering jobs are going to Chindia

      August 4, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
    • tiki

      the money spent on the instrument used here was spent long ago - what do you suggest - because of the current economy to simply not use the expensive toy? now that would be a real waste

      August 4, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
    • Denizen Kate

      A little perspective, please. NASA's budget is maybe 1% of the total. Would you miss a penny out of a dollar if you decided to toss it into the little collection jar at the checkout stand in the grocery store? And if that measly little penny funded a few amazing scientific discoveries, would you still gripe about the expense? Wow. Get a grip, will ya?

      August 4, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
    • JGB

      And the people doing this research have jobs because of Govt funding. Take that funding away, and you will add to the jobless ranks.

      August 4, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
    • sebastianbirkoff

      The space program is alot like the school systems. we invest the money so we have a chance at a brighter future. For those who are against funding schools or NASA, I hope when you go to the assisted living homes, it is a public school grad in charge of your meds, and start praying they can read the bottles. lol

      August 4, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
    • Sick

      Instead of making NASA the scapegoat, why don't you whine about the war or other big wasters? It's like crying over pennies when you're blowing big bucks on other things without any hesitation.

      August 4, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
    • David

      Why do small-minded twits like you still bother yourselves criticising the achievements of the space program? there will always be ups and downs in the economic cycle but man's higher self and his drive to pioneer the universe goes on. People like you can only see the next step in front of you – if you and the other twit who wondered why we spend money on space had any sense of history, you would know that America's wealth stems from its pioneering spirit – both of which reached their heights with the Apollo program. Since then we have become a nation of small-minded second-besters (you are an excellent example) who are more than ready to settle for a hot lunch and the vapor of security.

      keep your naysaying to yourself – you'll never achieve much with that attitude, so don't discourage those who actually have vision and work to make it happen.

      Here's to bigger and better things for NASA and the private space industry – and by the way, if we had to subtract all the revenue earned by every business whose products were made possible by NASA, our nation would be even poorer than your imagination is right now

      August 4, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
      • Artofwar

        ....Best put!!!

        August 4, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
      • Jeremy

        Thanks for the amazing post David. I agree wholeheartedly.

        August 5, 2011 at 7:52 am |
    • Hypocrites

      All of you bashing WOW are hypocrites; YES we need to cut the military budget as well as hundreds of different programs but what makes the space program so special that it should be exempt??? The military at least keeps us safe (maybe too safe, 700B safe), if you serious think we can move to Mars anytime soon YOU need a reality check, it will not happen in any of our lifetimes and probably not even in your children’s lifetime!!! I am not saying we should do away with NASA but they should absolutely have their budget cut just like hundreds of other programs. Finding space men on other planets is not going to help us get out of this crisis!!

      August 4, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
      • Sick

        We're not saying there isn't waste in NASA. I'm positive there is but when it comes down to it, the amount of waste from NASA compared the waste in the military – percentage wise – is vastly disproportionate. If you're going to cry and whine over waste, fine devote some of your effort to NASA but you're not focusing on where the most good can come up from cutting the fat – other programs other than NASA. Complain about the pennies after you shore up the big dollars. Would you feel safe with a $600B army? I sure would still and hey, dropping that $100B+ from the military would fund NASA for over 10 years or so. Hypocrites? More like being logical of where to place the blame.

        August 4, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
      • Doctor Who

        Actually not hypocrites at all. You wanna talk about military spending and safe-guarding the interests of this country?? Let me tell you this: India has a satellite now circling the Moon. When China and India get to Mars first and start colonies, and conquering the land and claiming the planet and its resources... They will get richer, and your complaining whiny ass will get poorer. But Im sure you can pray your way out of it. Oh yea, except that may not work against 'Chindia" lol.

        August 4, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
      • suportivemom

        other countries don't say we can't, they say how do we..... all we Americans do is whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa that's to expensive, give me my blankie. THAT'S why we are behind the 8-ball

        August 4, 2011 at 9:44 pm |
    • Traylor Trash

      Sure nasa funding may not put any of your trailer trash bible beating morons to work in the pig farms, but it just may employ thousands scientists, engineers, etc.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
    • 1plus1

      WOW, you have no idea...
      the budget for NASA is currently about 0.6% of the total federal budget. At it's highest point in 1966 it was 4.4%. The return on investment that our country receives from this relatively small investment is a much higher rate than any other investment that our governmakes.
      WAKE UP

      August 4, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
  92. Arnie

    Quaid!!!!

    August 4, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
    • TRD

      'Quaid!' Priceless!!!

      August 4, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
    • Jay

      So we are closer than ever to three-breasted women!

      August 4, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
    • rufud

      start the reactor!

      August 4, 2011 at 7:23 pm |
  93. Rob

    Agree with Reed; discoveries like this offer hope for answers to the burning questions and really pave the way for planetary colonization; the only way we're going to survive is to be able to live places other than just Earth. I look forward to a great Migration to Mars...I'll be the first one to buy a ticket!

    August 4, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
  94. Jeff

    Who cares if they find water...we can't move there.

    August 4, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
    • joeNYC

      1511:

      Who cares if there are forests and building materials and places to plant crops in the new world? We can't move there.

      August 4, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
    • Howie

      Your ignorance is so astounding that I shouldn't bother with this, but here goes...Actually, we can move there. Today, with existing technology, whether or not there is water. It wont be a comfortable place to live, but we can do it. If there is water, it becomes a whole lot easier. Further, whether there is water is not really a question of our survival on the planet, but an indication of possible extraterrestrial life. Wherever we have found water so far, we find life. By extension, if we find water on Mars, there is a good bet that we will find some form of life there. If we do that, we know that we are not alone in the universe. That's important to me, but I graduated from High School.

      August 4, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
      • Barely graduated

        Keep on watchin Star Trek and think it is possible!!! If it were possible, we would have been able to actually put ONE person on the planet. Keep dreaming and yes you probably graduated from high school but we can all see that that is as far as you went!!!

        August 4, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
      • rufud

        Before we landed on the moon, engineering classes taught how it was impossible to do so.

        August 4, 2011 at 7:25 pm |
  95. Joe

    That's nice. Meanwhile back on earth, $14 trillion in debt, 9.2% unemploment, stock markets are crashing, and a new recession is knocking on the door. But it's nice to know that Mars gets puddles once a year.

    August 4, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
    • Rob

      Ye of little vision. It's morons like you that stifle the space program, and it's morons like you who will cry out "WHY DON"T WE HAVE ANOTHER HOME" when Earth becomes too crowded, uninhabitable or both.

      August 4, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
      • Moron like you

        And it is morons like you that keep contributing the poverty in the world!!!! And it is morons like you that care more about invisible green men versus humans here on earth!!!

        August 4, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
    • Wow

      Thank You!!!!!

      August 4, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
    • Justin Observation

      Yeah, let's all wallow in the debt crisis, and not have any other interests.

      August 4, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
    • Joe

      Rob, it's morons like you who don't understand that it takes hundreds of billions of dollars to get to Mars – money that we don't have will never have until we put our house in order right here on earth. And that's just to put a few people up there. You're even more the moron for thinking that mankind will ever be able to migrate off this planet in any tangible way such the species could perpetuate itself without the earth. I am the visionary in this scenario, because vision also requires a firm footing in reality. You keep on watching Start Trek and hoping for the fairy tale. We'll see who's vision comes true. Dick.

      August 4, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
      • tiki

        no one's talking about migrating to mars - a satelite– launched and paid for (albeit with credit) a while ago - took some pictures - some people (doing these jobs theyre paid to do) interpreted said pictures – this isn't a current waste of resources - you should have been b***chin ~ 8 years ago it you were that concerned about projects like this ...

        August 4, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
      • Joe

        Actually, Tiki, Rob the moron above makes that very point about leaving the earth for another planet. You and he should go first and send for the rest of us when you're settled.

        August 4, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
      • Amen

        Joe....WELL SAID!!!

        August 4, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
    • tiki

      14 trillion in debt, unemployment, crashing markets - all trivial problems - 'stop thinking with your wallet, start thinking with your mind, so we can move ahead, instead of behind'

      August 4, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
    • Sick

      Instead of cutting NASA's 12B a year how about the military spending of 700B+? There's an idea for you.

      August 4, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
      • Joe

        Well, Sick...at least you're addressing the problem here on earth...good job. Fund NASA, cut military spending, close tax loopholes, and slash entitelments to reign in the debt. Fine by me.

        August 4, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
      • Sick

        @Joe – Most people would agree with you. We need to address what's wrong here first but I think the fundamental fight is where to cut it and people are blaming things like NASA which in reality wouldn't help much. I think we need to divert our anger to places like what you said. Smaller things like NASA and education and whatever, which have a relatively small impact on the FY12 budget can't get smaller without eliminating them completely.

        August 4, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
    • Will

      might be running away from your problems, but it's a bit of an arguement towards leaving.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
    • Keel Hauler

      Ah, another member of "Club Me". If it doesn't affect me, benefit me, or interest me, it's not worth doing or hearing about and is a waste, right? After all, you won't be around to have to worry about those problems when things get that bad, right? News flash:You could take every cent of the money spent on space exploration and attempt to alieve the insurmountable problems of global famine and overpopulation, and you won't make a dent. If anything we should be spending MORE on space studies. You'll forgive us if some of us want to try and save the boat before it sinks, or maybe get another one.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
      • idiot

        YOU are an idiot...you are telling me that 12 billion will not feed the millions of starving children in the world??? You can feed a child for like a buck a day, you need to get a grip! I am for NASA and do NOT think we should do away with it but lets be real!!!!

        August 4, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
      • PushingBack

        Well put. That money would be spent and then next year, there will be just more hungry people. If you can't sustain a population in the area on the resources you have, stop multiplying. If you can't feed the kids you have, stop making more.

        August 4, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
      • suportivemom

        @ Pushingback. Please remember that there are religions out there that do not allow population control, and governments more interested in lining their pockets than helping their people. but what do I truly know. I try to research before my mouth farts out a stink.

        August 4, 2011 at 9:54 pm |
  96. Justin Observation

    The surf's up but the oxygen levels are down. Dude.

    August 4, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
  97. Joey

    Imagine, one day you'll turn on the TV to CNN, you hear "This is CNN, Breaking News" and a shocked Wolf Blitzer announces the discovery of extraterrestrials. One day.. if such a thing can happen in our lifetimes.

    August 4, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
    • caw

      We can only hope. It would allow us to actually discover there is intelligent life in the universe. So far none has been proven to exist on earth.

      August 4, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
      • At least your are looking in the mirror

        And you are no exception to that!!!

        August 4, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
    • joeNYC

      When they find stuff living on Mars, Or Europa, Or Triton, it is going to blow people' minds.

      I for one cannot wait, and hope to see it in my lifetime. It's not a matter of if, but of _when_ .

      August 4, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
    • Reasonable1

      @Joey Please stop. You are scaring Jan Brewer of Arizona. Arizona will now have to make new laws and declare those aliens illegal too.

      August 4, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
    • LOLA

      This is really interesting,t hank you for sharing

      Casino en ligne sans telechargement

      August 5, 2011 at 7:40 am |
  98. First

    First!

    August 4, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
    • Stinky Fish Boy

      Actually you were third so I guess you lose.

      August 4, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
  99. Safeman62

    I wonder how much hat cost to find out. $100,000,000???

    August 4, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
    • Joey

      Probably. And that makes you mad because?

      Hold on, I'm going to live the rest of my life angry that an amount of tax money I didn't even notice I spent was spent on extraordinary scientific achievements.

      August 4, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
      • Serious??

        @Joey.....And this is extraordinary how????? Does it help put food in the mouths of starving children??? Does it put a roof over their heads??? I didn't think so!!!

        August 4, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
    • caw

      Do you or someone you care about wear glasses? Are they scratch resistant? That's a NASA invention. Sleep on a memory foam mattress, another invention from the money given to NASA. Satellites that carry your Cable TV or another communications, give them up. You didn't want to give NASA that money. Smoke Detector in your house? Get rid of it. Nasa created those as well. Cordless tools? NASA designed those for the first moon landing.

      Basically a lot of good comes from NASA and the money we give them. So stop your complaining or get rid of the things they've invented for the money you don't like them to get.

      August 4, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
      • Me

        That is the worst argument I have heard!!! NASA can still invent those things without spending trillions looking a Mars!

        August 4, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
      • SB

        @Me... trillions? LOL. NASA's budget is about one half of one percent of the Fed budget. That works out to ~20 billion currently. And that covers everything they do; all the probes, landers, rovers, satellites, telescopes, the ISS, all the science that's done here on the ground, and all the thousands of people they employ.

        It's astounding to me that people like you exist. Do some basic fact checking before you open your mouth again.

        August 4, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
    • Really!

      $1000,000,000 for a hat! Really!

      August 4, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
  100. Reed

    More proof that NASA needs political and public support. Cool stuff, guys.

    August 4, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
    • Me

      More proof they don't have anything better to do but to waste time

      August 4, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
      • Joel

        Wow, 'Me' you are really getting a lot done for this planet. Boy, are you useless. Say what you want, big talker, Nasa got things done for us while people like YOU do NOTHING for us.

        August 4, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
      • Christian

        "Me" is a retard just like 3/4 of the people living in this country. No surprise, really.

        August 4, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
      • minisheree32

        wow "me" do you realize that without NASA we wouldn't have alot of things like disposable diapers, all that technology in your phone, mobile internet, the computer you are on right now, etc. do you know what NASAs budget is? 1/80 of a penny. yeah. thats how much they have to spend. google it.

        August 11, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
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