Mars rover Curiosity
March 12th, 2013
02:38 PM ET

NASA: Yes, Mars could have hosted life

By Elizabeth Landau, CNN

Curiosity, humanity's most powerful rover  to land on Mars, has made a startling discovery: Conditions that could have supported life once existed there.

"We have found a habitable environment that is so benign, and supportive of life, that probably if this water was around and you had been on the planet, you would have been able to drink it," John Grotzinger, Curiosity project scientist at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, said in a Tuesday news conference.

This discovery is based on the chemical analysis of powder that the rover recovered by drilling a hole in a rock. This was the first time a robot sent from Earth had drilled on another planet.

The powder from the drilling turned out to have a wealth of chemicals in it, including sulfur, nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and carbon. These are ingredients for life, scientists said.

"What do we mean by habitability? The key thing here is an environment that a microbe could have lived in and maybe even prospered in," Grotzinger said.

What they found

Powder from the drill was a gray-green color, meaning it was not highly oxidized, said David Blake, principal investigator for Curiosity's Chemistry and Mineralogy investigation at NASA's Ames Research Center. That means if there were organic material present there, it could have been preserved.

The sample had between 20% to 30% of a type of clay called smectite, which forms in the presence of water, Blake said.

In Yellowknife Bay, the area where the rover is located, it appears "slightly salty liquid water" was once there, said Michael Meyer, lead scientist for the Mars Exploration Program at NASA Headquarters in Washington.


Left: Rock found by rover Opportunity. Right: Rocks found by rover Curiosity

These observations contrast sharply with the findings of Mars rover Opportunity, which landed on a different part of Mars in 2004 and is still chugging along. A rock that Opportunity found called Wopmayappeared to be made of hematite with iron-bearing sulfates, indicative of acidic water. That would not have been a habitable environment.

The rock that Curiosity found, on the other hand, has calcium sulfate and seems to have been in water with a neutral pH.

"This rock quite frankly looks like a typical thing that we would get on Earth," Grotzinger said.

Were there tiny creatures eating minerals from rocks?

Here's something else exciting: Grotzinger also described what he termed "batteries." Some of the minerals found have various charges and oxidation states. Modern microbiology has determined that tiny organisms can derive energy by feeding on rocks.

Five reasons to be excited about Curiosity

Life on Mars could have taken the form of a microorganism that used the minerals as an energy source. He compares this to a battery-powered light, in which you hook up the wires and electrons flow to make a light bulb turn on.

Scientists don't have any other examples of extraterrestrial environments with this distinction of having been able to support life.

"This is probably the only definitely habitable environment that we’ve described and recorded," said Paul Mahaffy, principal investigator for Curiosity's Sample Analysis at Mars investigation at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

The question of organic molecules

With the habitability issue out of the way, Curiosity has yet to explore the question of organic molecules, which could indicate life but could also come from other sources.

Grotzinger identified several challenges with this. For example, although the findings concerning water are exciting, the presence of water may mean that organic molecules indicative of life were not well-preserved, Grotzinger said.

A lot of organic compounds also are degraded in the presence of heat, he said. Mars appears to have cooled with time, so radiation may be the problem instead.

"Our trick is to find a place where all ... of those things went right, and that could take the entire length of this mission, but we're going to give it our best," he said. But organic molecules could be manufactured on Mars from nonlife sources, or they could come from meteorites and comets.

It's also important to note that Curiosity is not a life-detection mission.

"If there was microbial metabolism going on, we wouldn't have the ability to measure that," Grotzinger said.

And if there were microbial fossils in the rock,  the rover would not be able to resolve individual fossil microbes even with the many cameras on board Curiosity, including the high-powered MAHLI, Grotzinger said.

501 days in space with your spouse?

Still going to the mountain

Curiosity won't make its second drill hole until May. Scientists are excited about that because the first sample could have been tainted by material analyzed at a different site on Mars.

The 2-ton rover landed on Mars on August 6 in a series of acrobatic maneuvers dubbed the "seven minutes of terror." The mission comes with a price tag of $2.5 billion.

Scientists have now confirmed that each of the many intricate instruments on board the rover are working. "The rover is now fully commissioned for science," Meyer said. He added, "The keys to rover have been turned over to science team - Woohoo!"

Curiosity landed in Gale Crater, which hosts a mound called Mount Sharp. The bedrock in the crater where the rover drilled appears to be located in an ancient network of stream channels, which came down from the crater's rim, NASA said.

Curiosity still has plans to travel to Mount Sharp, where it will slowly climb the mountain analyzing the sedimentary rock to explore its geological history.

"The question is: How many of these different kinds of 'batteries' can we find at Gale Crater? I think that really becomes our mission along with the search for organic compounds," Grotzinger said.

What we've done on Mars and what's next

Post by:
Filed under: In Space • Mars
soundoff (864 Responses)
  1. ID

    We should be searching Europa for life... I bet it does.

    March 12, 2013 at 7:50 pm |
    • wicklow-whirlwind

      Well to start with it's too far away from the sun, I'd stick with Mars for now

      March 12, 2013 at 8:17 pm |
      • Sciguy73

        You don't need the sun when you have Jupiter. The core of Europa will be nearly as hot as io's due to tidal forces.

        March 12, 2013 at 8:28 pm |
      • GPS Girl

        Europa doesn't depend on the Sun for energy; it gets its heat from tidal strains from orbiting Jupiter.

        This would keep its vast ocean of water liquid beneath the ice crust.

        March 12, 2013 at 8:36 pm |
      • ID

        You don't need the sun in order to have heat and warmth. The constant pull from Jupiter heats that large moon up so much so that it most definitely has a happy medium where life can sustain itself. That moon is all but guaranteed to have ACTIVE life on it. We are searching for ancient life on Mars but we could find current life there. We should go! :)

        March 13, 2013 at 8:38 am |
      • Brian Hartman

        I think the main difficulty in searching for life on Europa is getting under the ice. If I remember what I read correctly, the ice is pretty thick, and getting through to the water (if, indeed, there is water there) wouldn't be easy.

        I think we also have to temper our enthusiasm. Water being there doesn't guarantee life being there. It greatly raises the chances, but it doesn't guarantee it.

        March 13, 2013 at 9:09 am |
    • John Doe

      We should limit any exploring Europa to passive/non-invasive for the near future. As in we should only observe. Earth born microbes have been proven to survive in space. Actively cutting into and probing Europa will contaminate it. Until we can manufacture our probes in space, as free from microbes as possible (the builder craft could still contaminate the probe if said builder craft was built on Earth...), we should steer clear from Europa. If we truly respect whatever form of life we expect to find there, we need to think about contamination.

      March 12, 2013 at 8:46 pm |
      • Timetraveler

        Yes, but once we find life on Europa, we will end up killing it one way or another, sooner or later. We are, after all, human, and a brief look at our history will put any doubts on that outcome to rest.

        March 12, 2013 at 9:43 pm |
      • gah

        @timetraveler – we could kill it or enslave it. you see all these alien movies about that happening to us when history shows humans do that to each other so it's really more realistic we'd be the aggressive parties in an alien invasion :)

        March 13, 2013 at 1:47 am |
    • vj

      What would searching for life on other planets serve? Do you think they'll fix our ozone layer or something? Do the millions of abduction victims report a positive experience? Those aliens we perceive are fallen angels/demons. There is no life in outer space, God only made earth to be specially inhabited. Isaiah 45:18. Parting comment to atheists: the big bang and primordial soup are a scam.

      March 12, 2013 at 9:18 pm |
      • Michael

        Troglodytes like you are the reason why people spent so long believing in a flat earth. For the sake of our species, never EVER breed.

        March 12, 2013 at 9:26 pm |
      • albert

        For the record Michael, the Bible does not say that the world is flat. Don't confuse religion with what thew Bible actually says.

        March 12, 2013 at 9:33 pm |
      • SomeDude

        I dont know about the big bang but what I do know vj is that you're an idiot.

        March 12, 2013 at 9:34 pm |
      • Just Me

        They are not looking specifically for life as we know it. What they are looking for is a place were we can send you and your buddys to live.

        March 12, 2013 at 9:40 pm |
      • wafffles

        God is a scam, the bible is a farcical, sarcastic comedy that got taken seriously, and Jesus was a promiscuous handyman who got lucky enough to pull off a prank that got taken seriously and inflated into a full blown conspiracy.

        March 12, 2013 at 11:15 pm |
      • Craig

        And...the person who wrote Isaiah knew this exactly how? Did he and the "God" have a conversation? Was he allowed to ask questions? Can anyone else confirm that the conversation took place? What did they report "god" said?

        In our legal system such a report, excluding all the potential translation errors and "editing" by others with an interest in a specific outcome, would be considered hear-say and not admissible as evidence. I'm thinking this is a pretty questionable theory upon which to base a conclusion. Science, on the other hand, creates theories that can be tested, using tests that can be replicated, and even then still considers them only theories. Gravity, which you might be familiar with, is still just a "theory."

        Therein is the difference.

        March 13, 2013 at 2:06 am |
      • Bob

        @vj "There is no life in outer space, God only made earth to be specially inhabited. Isaiah 45:18."

        That's not what that Bible passage says. Yes, it says that the earth was formed by God to be inhabited. But it says nothing about it being the only place in the universe with life. You are proposing that God created an immense universe, but chose to put life on only one of millions of worlds? Your argument doesn't even make sense to Christians.

        March 13, 2013 at 2:51 am |
      • Epidi

        Hahahahaha! Thanks for the giggle. I am not an Atheist but your comment is just too ridiculous NOT to laugh.

        March 13, 2013 at 5:30 am |
      • Fearless Freep

        ******************************************************

        Michael

        Troglodytes like you are the reason why people spent so long believing in a flat earth. For the sake of our species, never EVER breed.

        March 12, 2013 at 9:26 pm |

        albert

        For the record Michael, the Bible does not say that the world is flat. Don't confuse religion with what thew Bible actually says.

        *****************************************************************

        Where in Michaels statement does it say anything about the bible ?
        A little defensive, are we ?

        March 13, 2013 at 6:48 am |
      • xirume

        VJ you are a scam

        March 13, 2013 at 8:57 am |
      • Johnny

        albert, the bible says that the Earth is a circle, which would make it flat.

        March 13, 2013 at 9:48 am |
      • Blahman

        Fearless Freep,

        Seriously? Do you not see the bible passage that he mentioned?

        March 13, 2013 at 10:03 am |
      • Valkyrie

        Science is the "what" and the "how" of truth. Religious beliefs can help us answer the human question of "why"; but religious beliefs are only true if you believe them to be. Whereas, scientific truth is true, whether you choose to believe it or not.

        March 13, 2013 at 10:34 am |
      • LetsBeFactual

        @bob
        the bible doesnt mention that god created (or didnt create) life on other planets because the desert nomads who made up the genesis accounts did NOT know that there were other planets.
        If we r to believe ur tale, it should strike u as peculiar that an all-knowing god who inspired genesis only created heavenly objects that people at that time could see with their naked eyes. In genesis he specifically creates the sun/moon/stars, all things that people at that time knew about. But he conveniently didnt mention creating other solar systems, other planets, other galaxies or nebulae.
        What i am trying to get at is that god's knowledge was limited to the knowledge of the people of his time; this should give u a good clue that no god wrote genesis or the bible, but people from that time made it up!

        March 13, 2013 at 11:45 am |
      • LetsBeFactual

        @albert
        the bible implies over and over that the world is flat. U r right when u say that it doesn't flat out mention it (excuse the pun), but it is implied in the biblical stories.
        I was a christian too and was sad to find out that Jesus himself taught the world was flat. Why would the son of god not know that the world is round?? Here r a few examples:
        For example, Revelation 1:7: "Behold, he is coming with the clouds! Every eye shall see him..." In this passage Jesus will return on judgment day in the clouds for ALL eyes to see him. All the people could see him in his return only if the world was flat. But because the world is round, less than 1/8th of the worlds population will see him. How come Jesus or the writer of revelation did not know this?
        Another example: in describing the temptation of Jesus by Satan, Matthew 4:8 says, "Once again, the devil took him to a very high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world (cosmos) in their glory." You see the problem with this statement too, dont u? Again, u can only see the entire earth from a mountain if the earth was flat. But because it is round, it is not possible to see the entire earth from a mountain top. Surprisingly, both satan and Jesus who were of supernatural/godly status did not know this?
        This shows that Jesus shared the same belief of the ignorant people of his time that the earth was flat as implied by the above bible quotes. So sadly according to Jesus himself, the earth is flat :[
        you can also easily look up some flat references in the bible:
        Flat Earth references include:
        Isaiah 11:12,Revelation 7:1 (four corners of the Earth) <- if the earth has 4 corners then this implies that the bible thought it was flat
        Job 38:13, Jeremiah 16:19, Daniel 4:11, Matthew 4:8 (ends of the Earth) <- end of the earth only if it was flat

        March 13, 2013 at 11:59 am |
    • John Doe

      I try so hard not to feed the Trolls. Just this once:
      Searching for and discovering new life forms would expand out knowledge of what "life" is. Abduction (if it even exists) is akin to lab-rat testing. Of course it would be an unpleasant experience! If they are indeed fallen angels or demons are they not alive, in space? And if God only made earth to be specially inhabited, he/she will fix the ozone layer.

      March 12, 2013 at 9:32 pm |
      • Steve

        What's wrong with the ozone?

        March 12, 2013 at 10:11 pm |
      • hehe

        It's out of zone.

        March 13, 2013 at 5:31 am |
    • Cal Newlan

      We should be searching the Bible for wisdom not speculating about possible former microbial life on a now dead rock. calnewlanministries.com

      March 12, 2013 at 9:54 pm |
      • greyspy

        Cal, you are absolutely right. We should all just stop what we're doing with our lives and do exactly as you say. Gosh, what were we thinking, satisfying our intellectual curiosities? Thanks for showing us the way dude! Now where is that kool-aid?

        March 12, 2013 at 10:40 pm |
      • heliocracy

        Sure, why investigate when we can just make up stories that sound good, and pat ourselves on the back for knowing it all?

        March 12, 2013 at 10:58 pm |
      • BobbyGanoosh

        I visited your site Cal and read your post about how you keep mentioning your website in the the comment section on the cnn science articles in hopes to get "hits" on your blog. I find it sad you act like some cyber martyr in regards to what you are doing. While I respect your beliefs, you have shown you do not respect the beliefs of others. You are doing the very thing that you are railing against in your blog. I find it funny you chose to only post on the science articles. Is it because you're right and you feel the need to push your beliefs and views onto others? You are doing it for the sole purpose of getting a rise out of people so you can go back to your blog and tell everyone how hateful and mean everyone is towards your beliefs and views. Show respect...get respect. It really is that simple.

        March 12, 2013 at 11:02 pm |
      • snowboarder

        cal, the bible is a collection of myths and legends. nothing more.

        March 12, 2013 at 11:34 pm |
      • Gaunt

        Yes, the wonders of Bible wisdom.

        On a side note, Cal, would you mind if I raped your virgin teenage daughter? I promise to pay you the 220$ penatly required for such a crime in the bible.

        March 13, 2013 at 3:43 am |
      • capnmike

        The bible was written by a bunch of primitive people who thought the earth was flat and couldn't even begin to imagine a microbe. We should toss that pack of lies nonsense and fairy tales in the trash where it belongs.

        March 13, 2013 at 9:50 am |
    • rotorhead1871

      we have searched and there is NO life on Europe....sorry.....

      March 12, 2013 at 10:36 pm |
    • PheaNiques

      I have a question...

      I have often heard and read comments stating that life probably exists many times over, throughout the universe, and it is what I personally believe to be the truth. what that eventually discovery who mean to the creation myth of Earth Religions...but what would it mean, if we find, again and again and again, places that could have / should have supported life, but it doesn't and hasn't?

      March 13, 2013 at 7:37 am |
    • Full Disclosure Needed

      THis is stupid, they already know that mars has life and are already there studying it.

      March 13, 2013 at 9:06 am |
    • Jack Rivera

      Maybe we should send some libs to Mars and see how fast the wreck the Martian economy?

      March 13, 2013 at 10:50 am |
  2. Red Pison

    Eisenhower has been to Mars and spoke to the martians making a deal with them for our natural resources in exchange for their technology.

    March 12, 2013 at 7:31 pm |
    • Festivusfortherestofus

      Wonder if there was any chance that humans once roamed there...stripped the planet of all its resources and then moved here?

      March 12, 2013 at 7:52 pm |
      • sanjosemike

        Nil.

        March 12, 2013 at 8:39 pm |
      • Just Me

        Yea, that sounds like a Republican idea. Maybe that is why the TEA GARBAGE is against spending for space exploration. They don't want us to discover what they have been up to.

        March 12, 2013 at 9:45 pm |
  3. Virbhadra

    I know its silly to ask, but what is the benefit to current human mankind if it is proved there is life form in Mars. What are the benefits of knowing about life in Mars...

    March 12, 2013 at 7:30 pm |
    • I Am God

      Simple the possibility of life in other places in the galaxy become extremely possible. Also it will give us the opportunity to create a colony on Mars to study this life, giving us the opportunity to learn more on how life can be formed on certain planets and the possibility of life on certain planets similar to Mars.

      March 12, 2013 at 7:36 pm |
      • Virbhadra

        Even if we find out how life is formed, does it help the general humans in this world or its for the nasa to gain a Noble prize for Science/Biology/Technology/Astronomy/MarioPhysicst??

        March 12, 2013 at 8:47 pm |
    • Mike

      Only the answer to the to the second greatest question mankind has posed!!!!! ARE WE ALONE?
      Now what about this GOD of ours???

      March 12, 2013 at 7:46 pm |
      • paul

        Well my god says there is life everywhere. Only your god says life is only only on earth, maybe.

        March 12, 2013 at 8:09 pm |
      • Patines

        Mike the ones we already know are around are not really gettting along very well, why bringing more people into the equation?

        March 12, 2013 at 8:15 pm |
      • zeyn2010

        God has been so misunderstood! LOL

        March 12, 2013 at 8:18 pm |
      • mack

        paul: what if we discover intelligent life elsewhere that looks nothing like man? i thought god created man in the form of himself? what do you do then? what spin job do you put on this whole notion? is jesus still the son of your god even though intelligent life exists on a planet 5 trillion light years away from here? what if they had their own god and you had to debate them as to why your god was the real one? boy oh boy this gets convoluted and silly.

        March 12, 2013 at 9:11 pm |
      • Garrett

        As an aspiring physics student,

        I would say the ability for natural phenomenon to be explained by elegant mathematics is at least curious on a philosophical level. I don't believe in the bible, or any religion per say, but for the laws of the universe to behave in such a geometrical and interconnected fashion, it gives the feeling of some sort of creator.

        March 12, 2013 at 11:03 pm |
      • ialsoagree

        Garrett, see: anthropic principle.

        The notion that the universe, it's laws, it's constants, whatever, have in any way "come together" in the "perfect way" for life to exist is exactly the same as the puddle in your driveway marveling at the fact that it's hole fits it just perfectly – rather than recognizing that it is in fact the puddle that fits the hole perfectly, because it otherwise would not exist.

        March 13, 2013 at 10:41 am |
    • Joe NJ

      you're right. it's silly to ask.

      March 12, 2013 at 7:57 pm |
    • paul

      So we could deport some of sub humans, inhumanes, and illegal aliens.

      March 12, 2013 at 8:07 pm |
      • Patines

        That's not a bad idea, there are beings with us that shouldn't be around humans.

        March 12, 2013 at 8:18 pm |
    • J-Pap

      So we can put to rest all the religions of the world and move humanity forwards based on science.

      March 12, 2013 at 8:38 pm |
      • Jerry

        Sure, we can move forward based on science, however, science cannot provide for morality. Science gives us discovery not the knowledge of what is right or wrong and how to live with honesty and respect for others. As for the morality part, it depends on which religion's morality you like. Every religion can be wrong. Only one can be right.

        March 12, 2013 at 9:12 pm |
      • snowboarder

        jerry, there is no reason to believe that any are right. if you believe that all but yours are wrong, the odds are extremely high that yours is wrong also.

        March 12, 2013 at 11:33 pm |
      • ialsoagree

        Jerry, the origin of morality is a big topic, and you've made some suggestions I don't think you fully comprehend the consequences of.

        Are you trying to suggest that morality is subjective to one's religious views? If so, you certainly can't fault someone for performing human sacrifices on unwilling victims if their religion tells them it's moral to do so. After all, it's your position that their morality is defined by their religion, and if that's what their religion tells them to do, then you must accept that it's morally okay to murder in the name of that religion.

        I suspect what you're getting after is not subjective morality, but that objective morality is the result of some religion – although people have different opinions about which one is correct, there is only one that is correct.

        This is also false. The notion that a god created morality is contradictory to objective morality. If a deity created morality, then morality is subjective to that deity, and if morality is subjective to that deity it can't also be objective.

        If there is an objective morality and a deity, than objective morality supercedes that deity, and that deity has no power over morality – that is, morality is more powerful than "god."

        Therefor, religion is not a solution to the question of where objective morality comes from, because – at best – objective morality is more powerful, and supercedes the will of any god.

        It is my belief – based on philosophical reasoning – that objective morality is both highly specific (IE. it's specific to the moral situation, and only identical moral situations are gauranteed to have the same morally "good" and "bad" choices), and that that morality is the result of the moral situation and the participation of those capable of moral thought.

        That is to say, to have morality, you must first have something capable of recognizing and understanding moral questions. A lion killing a zebra isn't a moral question because neither the lion nor the zebra are capable of understanding morality. But the ability to understand morality isn't sufficient for morality to exist – you also need a situation that begs a moral question.

        It's when these two things come together that morality is created, and that morality is defined by the situation (including everything leading up to that situation), and is therefor objective (IE. it will always be the same for every exactly identical situation).

        March 13, 2013 at 10:51 am |
    • Think about it

      It would only change everything we know about the universe. It would put a final nail in that silly coffin of the 'We here on Earth are special" idiots.

      March 12, 2013 at 8:40 pm |
      • Bob

        So well said. 'We here on Earth are special" makes as much sense as "Everything in the universe revolves around the Earth" did before Copernicus (the heretic) burst their bubble.

        March 13, 2013 at 3:11 am |
    • Matt

      One significant material benefit would be the development of the needed technology and know-how that would be required to complete that search. Every attempt to do something new in space requires us to develop new techniques, new materials, etc. The benefits of those developments don't stop with the space probe, but are then applied elsewhere to human endeavors. There have been studies done that show the money invested in space exploration returns to us several times over. Better insulating materials, lighter and stronger metals, better communication systems, etc.

      There is also the philosophical advantage of better understanding our place in the cosmos. I believe we are best suited by having the clearest, most accurate comprehension of the universe. Our existence improved when we learned the earth was round not because every person got somehow better, or more food, but because we as a species were better adapted to living in a world we understood more clearly.

      March 12, 2013 at 8:59 pm |
    • Just Me

      At the beginning of human knowledge, man looked up at the skys at night and wondered; " What's for supper? ".

      March 12, 2013 at 9:49 pm |
    • Frankhy

      This is the kind of questions I will never understand. What do you mean "benefit"? Finding the answer och at least coming closer to an answer, to fundamental questions like "are we alone in the Universe?", "where do we come from?", "What is life?" end so on, are IMHO among the apriori things that are important, without there necessarily being an immediate financial benefit attached to them.
      Is increased happiness of benefit to humanity? The diminishing of suffering? Health, clean air, beauty and friendship? I would dare saying you probably say "yes" to these questions – but why? The only answer is "it just is".
      The search for life in the Universe is the same. It is important and beneficial to us all. "How?", "Why?" – dude, it just is.
      Feel free to think that none of the above is important and piles of dollar bills or whatever is the only worthy cause to you. But for most of us, other things, such as these questions and causes, are what is truly important. It just is.

      March 12, 2013 at 9:54 pm |
    • Lucia

      Advance of technology and know-how. These are the most important things we get from it. A LOT of the technology we have today exists thanks to the decision to get to the moon.

      March 12, 2013 at 10:51 pm |
    • EdwardTr

      If life started INDEPENDENTLY on two planets in our solar system, it is means life is easy to start and likely fairly common across the universe. This does not mean highly complex life or intelligent life. In fact a common belief among many scientists is that simple microbial life is common but intelligent life is very rare. There is also a possibility of finding life on Mars that originated here on Earth. In that case we would not be able to assume life is common in the universe. (A large meteorite explosion could have thrown bits of earth crust with microbial life into space. Those life bearing bits cold have then ended up as meteorites on Mars delivering life to the planet. On the other hand the reverse could be true, microbial life could have started on Mars and been transferred via meteorite to Earth.)

      March 13, 2013 at 12:37 am |
  4. booger

    The one thing this proves; we are not alone. That's good to know.

    March 12, 2013 at 7:14 pm |
    • Rev. Richard Prichard

      Actually, it proves no such thing. It only shows an environment that 'could' be habitable. Funny that Curiosity wasn't curious enough to bring the instruments to actually identify microbes. Stupid government planning at its best.

      March 12, 2013 at 7:34 pm |
      • Steve

        Yes, the stupid government put a rolling chemistry set on another planet. They are so stupid. I'm sure you could have done it better.

        March 12, 2013 at 8:10 pm |
      • Dan

        Are you a real live reverend that spews absurd religious nonsense at your sheep and then takes their money?

        March 12, 2013 at 8:37 pm |
      • Joe

        The government didn't have anything to do with the instruments on the rover, unless NASA is the gov't?

        March 12, 2013 at 8:39 pm |
    • J

      No, this definitely does not prove that we are not alone. It proves that it is not completely impossible that maybe life used to exist on Mars a long time ago. Maybe.

      March 12, 2013 at 9:21 pm |
    • Timetraveler

      This "proves" nothing other than life COULD HAVE existed on Mars. When it comes to the existence of life, there is a difference of millions of light years between COULD HAVE and DID.

      March 12, 2013 at 9:52 pm |
  5. bobincal

    When the sun runs out of hydrogen in its core, it will begin burning hydrogen in a shell around the core and become very luminous and bloated. The outer layers of the sun will actually reach the Earth, and so the oceans will evaporate and our planet will be fried. Fortunately for us, this won’t happen for several billions of years. Hopefully, by then mankind will have developed the technology to leave the Earth and emigrate to a new planet with a very young sun. Our space program is already hard at work trying to identify candidate planets. So, I remain optimistic for the survival of human race.

    March 12, 2013 at 6:40 pm |
    • apstar

      The human race will destroy itself within the next few thousand years (maybe even less). May as well enjoy life while it lasts. I feel sorry for the next generations, especially since the planet is being ruined by human greed, contempt for the ecology, and overbreeding.

      March 12, 2013 at 7:13 pm |
      • Yacon

        Except that the birth rate is dropping around the world as people become more educated and nations develop. Many developed nations have declining populations, and trends in the underdeveloped world are moving them over time in the same direction.

        March 12, 2013 at 8:46 pm |
    • GaryO

      I'm pretty sure that when a star runs out of hydrogen, it starts fusing helium into heavier elements.

      March 12, 2013 at 10:03 pm |
      • ialsoagree

        Not exactly (to this or the OP).

        The sun will never use up all it's hydrogen. It actually will go supernova with half or more of the hydrogen it has as fuel is still unreacted. The issue is the ratio of hydrogen to heavier elements. Currently the sun is fusing elements all the way up to Iron on the period table. That's because all the reactions up to the formation of Iron give off energy.

        As the concentration of heavier elements grows in the core of the sun, the reaction will destabilize and change. The sun will start expending energy to fuse elements higher than Iron on the period table. When this change occurs, the sun will form into a red giant (and it's expansion will completely engulf and destroy the Earth, not just dry up our oceans, but completely obliterate the planet). As a red giant, the sun will expend much of it's energy to form the heaviest of the elements on the period table. This will continue until some point where the Sun lacks the energy to maintain the reaction and the sun will explode.

        The remaining hydrogen will eventually come back together to form a new sun, while the heavier elements will come back together to form asteroids and other rocky bodies.

        March 13, 2013 at 11:01 am |
      • isolate

        Your ignorance of astronomy, physics and chemistry boggles the mind. Our sun will never go nova, much less supernova: it lacks the necessary mass. The sun is not burning all the elements up to iron: the burning sequence of elements has been known for nearly a century– where have you been? The sun will never undergo the "iron bounce" for the same rea

        March 13, 2013 at 9:31 pm |
      • isolate

        Rather than going nova, Our Mister Sun will swell up as a red giant, then fade back into a white dwarf.

        Oh, and while you're out buying your copy of "Astronomy for Dummies," also pick up a basic grammar guide and learn when to use "its" and when to use "it's."

        March 13, 2013 at 9:39 pm |
  6. palintwit

    Now that Sarah Palin has been broomed from Fake News she will have more time to spend on her worm farm at the famous Sarah Palin Galactic Observatory / Bait Shop.

    March 12, 2013 at 6:33 pm |
    • palintwit

      Sigh, more fake ramblings from a classless unfunny poster. Very childish.

      March 12, 2013 at 6:42 pm |
      • mij

        no. not palintwit, change your handle to "JERK".

        March 12, 2013 at 6:56 pm |
      • palintwit

        OK mij (a.k.a. fake palintwit), Was that some sort of "clever" move on your part? Too bad your feeble attempt did not succeed to persuade the masses.

        March 12, 2013 at 7:45 pm |
    • Slinky

      Actually she is writing a book about the "War on Christmas". Once again, truth is stranger than fiction.

      March 12, 2013 at 7:15 pm |
    • william parrish

      Who's sarah palin?

      March 13, 2013 at 2:54 am |
  7. conrad

    yeah yeah sure
    come back to me when you find a bone..!!

    March 12, 2013 at 6:28 pm |
    • Larry

      I got your bone right here. Come and get it boy.

      March 12, 2013 at 9:55 pm |
  8. roccop777

    High concentrations of iron deposits have been found on Mars as well. Maybe there is a chance that somewhere on Mars this iron ore has by undirected, random processes assembled themselves to form sheet metal and cast iron. Who knows maybe over billions of years there are primitive forms of washing machines and cars evolving right now! If life can form via undirected, random, purposeless processes, from lifeless chemicals, then the above described scenario is just as probable, if not easier.

    March 12, 2013 at 6:13 pm |
    • Danoshmano

      SCIENCE SCARY

      March 12, 2013 at 6:30 pm |
    • snowboarder

      comical.

      March 12, 2013 at 7:00 pm |
    • Jules

      Now that's logic!

      March 12, 2013 at 7:02 pm |
    • btechno

      Not exactly...not all "lifeless chemicals" are the same. Biomolecules, like proteins and nucleic acids, are unique because they have a function – they are catalysts, information carriers, or both (among other things). There are practically an infinite number of emergent properties that can be derived from endless combinations of amino acids. Iron, obviously, does not do this. For someone who does not understand chemistry, this may sound like a reasonable argument, but it is in fact nothing more than a straw man.

      PS – is this the same roccop from Fox News? If so, good to see you (online)!

      March 12, 2013 at 7:20 pm |
      • snowboarder

        it is likely the same roccop. his responses regularly make me sad for humanity.

        March 12, 2013 at 11:49 pm |
      • roccop777

        Yes Btechno, it's me again. Since FOX shut down the possibility to make comments, we haven't had the opportunity to cross paths. If I remember correctly, you work in the field of biochemistry. Maybe you can inform Alex that self-replicationg processes are not as easy to come by as he seems to think. You wrote that proteins can function as catalysts. But, unless something radically new has taken place in the field of biochemistry, I know of no experiment which has even gotten close to even producing the simplest of proteins, just a racemic mix of amino acids, which cannot assemble/fold themselves into proteins. Please correct if I am wrong - or correct others in this comment section who claim that this has indeed been done and mock me as being illiterate for not accepting it.

        March 13, 2013 at 7:40 am |
    • Alex

      Iron just kinda sits there... Like the republicans in congress. Organic molecules are however, capable of reacting in many many many ways and forming nearly limitless compounds. Some may be self-replicating, in that they split apart and grow, as strange as it seems. Please understand that you are not educated enough to debate in such a topic.

      March 12, 2013 at 9:03 pm |
  9. Greg

    I don't care if they find a herd of sheep...it is too expensive to do anything with them. Stop wasting our money.

    March 12, 2013 at 6:00 pm |
    • MDATB

      What about our 1 trillion in wars?Why fight NASA,which has discovered galaxies,planets and even potential life?This isn't a rational course of action to cut down on something that has done so much.

      March 12, 2013 at 6:07 pm |
    • Hello22

      Look up NASA spin-off technologies. NASA only receives 0.5% of the tax budget.

      March 12, 2013 at 6:08 pm |
    • Mike

      "We've got symptoms in society today. We're going broke; we're mired in debt; we don't have as many scientists as we want or need, and jobs are going overseas. I assert that these are not isolated problems... that they're the collective consequence of the absence of ambition that consumes you when you stop having dreams."

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmKlA_UnX8c&w=640&h=390]

      March 12, 2013 at 6:12 pm |
      • Matt

        Hear, hear. Dr. Tyson gets this exactly right, I'm afraid.

        March 12, 2013 at 6:38 pm |
      • ghasem yarahMADI BENEDICTXVI777

        +)(+YES.THE./WAS./LIFE./BEFORE./IN./MARS./When./you./look./deep..
        you./can./see./many./mistery./behind..../is./not./IMPORTANT./life./was./in./MARS./OR./no./life./was./before./IMPORTANT./PART./WHAT.
        /YOU
        WILL./DO./IN./MARS./can./you./USE./mars./to./CONQUERD./THE./
        MISSION./IN./SPACE./OR./WHEN./YOU./going./to./MARS./THE./
        CONQUERD./YOUR./mind./before./you./return./to./ground./with./not./see./or./understand./secret./intelligent./in./SPACE./THE.have,./special./WEAPEN./unseen./like./arow./to./mind./of./human.being./faster./than./light./this./arow./work./against./eany./weapen./..or..human.being..MESSAGE./power./has./given/FROM./ABOVE./to./CONQUERD.
        &..CONQUES./BEFORE./THEM>>.>MISSION./IN./MARS./CAN./BRING
        MAJOR./DESTRUCTION./TO./YOUR./LAND./USA...OR..MISSION./OF./
        MARS,./CAN./BRING./YOU./HIGER>>>&>HIGER>>>IN>>>SPACE>>>MOVMENT>&>VICTORY>>>IN>SHORT>TIME>ONLY>WE>NEED>
        TO>TAKE./ONE>ACTION>............IN./SPACE./before./Them./

        March 12, 2013 at 6:46 pm |
      • ghasem yarahMADI BENEDICTXVI777

        +)(+YES.THE./WAS./LIFE./BEFORE./IN./MARS./When./you./look./deep..
        you./can./see./many./mistery./behind..../is./not./IMPORTANT./life./was./in./MARS./OR./no./life./was./before./IMPORTANT./PART./WHAT.
        /YOU
        WILL./DO./IN./MARS./can./you./USE./mars./to./CONQUERD./THE./
        MISSION./IN./SPACE./OR./WHEN./YOU./going./to./MARS./THE./
        CONQUERD./YOUR./mind./before./you./return./to./ground./with./not./see./or./understand./secret./intelligent./in./SPACE./THE.have,./special./WEAPEN./unseen./like./arow./to./mind./of./human.being./faster./than./light./this./arow./work./against./eany./weapen./
        &..or..human.being..MESSAGE./power./has./given/FROM./ABOVE./to./CONQUERD.
        &..CONQUES./BEFORE./THEM>>.>MISSION./IN./MARS./CAN./BRING
        MAJOR./DESTRUCTION./TO./YOUR./LAND./USA...OR..MISSION./OF./
        MARS,./CAN./BRING./YOU./HIGER>>>&>HIGER>>>IN>>>SPACE>>>MOVMENT>&>VICTORY>>>IN>SHORT>TIME>ONLY>WE>NEED>
        TO>TAKE./ONE>ACTION>............IN./SPACE

        March 12, 2013 at 6:54 pm |
    • Theo

      Id bet money if they found cows, greg would get his a$$ to mars to do some cow tipping

      for we all know sheep dont tip well!

      March 12, 2013 at 6:13 pm |
    • bfpiercelk

      Short sited tool...

      Where did 90% of technological and social progress come from again? Oh right, that whole exploitation of new resources and creation of new markets thing.

      March 12, 2013 at 6:20 pm |
    • Seriously?

      Look... we need to populate another planet or else mankind is finished. If anything, we should be putting more money and research into setting up a colony on another planet ASAP!

      March 12, 2013 at 6:23 pm |
      • Mankind

        Why? The human race doesn't deserve to move onto, or into, another planet or space. We deserve to die for killing the planet we have already.

        March 12, 2013 at 7:40 pm |
      • AU705H07

        ^^ Agreed! We Will Destroy The Earth in Another Cpl Hundred Years I Bet..

        Ignorance is ruining humanity... like comments aforementioned about who cares about nasa bs.. if not for nasa.. we would not have majority of technology we have today... Idiot

        March 12, 2013 at 8:38 pm |
      • Hello22

        Let's start with you.

        March 12, 2013 at 8:48 pm |
      • Ready

        Tired of these "we're killing the planet" retards. Start by killing yourself if you hate mankind so much. The normals will continue on realizing that we are the penultimate creation of nature and that the earth serves us. How arrogant you are to think we are even a speck on this earth it's hard far greater enemies then us. I bet you are a fake atheist as well replacing false god worship with new age nature worship. Dig yourself a grave and lay down in it feeble minded tool

        March 13, 2013 at 1:22 am |
    • Poltergeist

      Money is just paper with an agreed upon value. The problem with many today is that they think money is an actual resource. It has no value beyond the resources, technology, and manpower that backs it.

      March 12, 2013 at 8:17 pm |
    • Dan

      Knowledge is such a bad thing. Ask any religious person.

      March 12, 2013 at 8:39 pm |
      • Poltergeist

        Except Sir Francis bacon who declared "knowlegde is power".

        March 12, 2013 at 9:21 pm |
      • Ready

        If religion is so bad then stop prolystizing

        March 13, 2013 at 1:28 am |
    • jimmer freddette

      So 2.5 billion dollars is a waste of money to discover life and advance our science and technology, but giving middle eastern countries billions of dollars just to put a military base on their land isnt. Or better yet the billions of dollars we're giving is going straight to the terrorist's pockets. Is that not wasting money?

      March 12, 2013 at 10:44 pm |
    • Ready

      Greg you are a feeble minded fool who only cares about pennies. Go to whatever hovel you live in and just turn off the Internet. Conversations beyond you ability to comprehend are occurring here.

      Lmao being so worried about PENNIES in the face of advancement of man kind. When did these greedy for pennies idiots start popping up in such numbers?

      March 13, 2013 at 1:26 am |
  10. Hugh Mann

    Ray Bradbury

    March 12, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
    • Fail Burton

      Did he mean "Warhoons!!"

      March 12, 2013 at 6:11 pm |
  11. Ron Bennett

    That is good news, when will they release the better news admitting to finding organics and possible life? The Phoenix Lander Science team also stated that "all the necessary ingredients to sustain life was under the Lander" "you probably can't grow strawberries but you can grow asparagus"

    Now look at this YouTube time lapse images of microbial like life forms moving in the Phoenix Microscopic Imager, it is not fake it is time lapse images from the Phoenix Landers Microscopic Imager anyone can access these images from the NASA – JPL Phoenix Landers site....

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUHZ-aMbZHw&w=640&h=390]

    March 12, 2013 at 5:51 pm |
    • Jeremy

      I don't think those are what you think they are. :)

      March 12, 2013 at 6:08 pm |
    • Stel

      If NASA found life it would be in their best interest to announce it. It would help garner support to raise their budget above the paltry 0.5% they currently get from the total federal budget.

      March 12, 2013 at 7:40 pm |
  12. nik green

    If any *actual* indications of life, past or present, are found – there is NO WAY IN HELL that NASA will be permitted to tell the public about it. Such information will be instantly classified as "top secret", or higher. NASA employee know the score, and since they have their careers to protect in these tough economic times, it is very unlikely that anyone is going to violate their "national security" oath.

    NASA staff are "compartmentalized" in a similar fashion as happens in the military, federal law enforcement and intelligence communities, so maintaining secrecy tends to happen by default – people know what is required to do only their task in a project, and nobody except those at the very top know *all* the details – ie enough to be able to blow the whistle with credibility.

    Anyway, if NASA *found* hard, verified scientific evidence/proof of past (or current) life on Mars, and went public – nobody would believe them anyway – the chorus of "FAKE" would be deafening!

    March 12, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
    • kody

      Why would they keep it a secret? Give me one, non-conspricy theory, reason...

      March 12, 2013 at 6:06 pm |
    • Theo

      I find it hard to read anything from a person wearing a tin foil hat, even if it is reynolds wrap.

      March 12, 2013 at 6:22 pm |
    • Nick

      Are you joking? The discovery of life on another world would be the greatest discovery in the history of... *history!*

      After thoroughly going over their data again... and again... and again... and twice more for good measure, they would publish their information. Other scientists around the world would then tear it apart and try to confirm or refute the results. Just for good measure, I am sure other rovers would be sent to similar areas on Mars.

      March 12, 2013 at 8:46 pm |
    • isolate

      I wish I was a conspiracy theorist. Life would be so much easier.

      March 12, 2013 at 9:18 pm |
  13. Greg

    We can't afford to pay our bills and we are taking exotic vacations...completely irresponsible.

    March 12, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
    • MDATB

      Do you know that discovering things about the universe may be useful?

      March 12, 2013 at 5:44 pm |
      • Greg

        Not if it doesn't have a return on the investment...even if they find bacteria or a dog named sue...specifically what does this do for us? $2.5 billion and what does it do other than tell the world "we found it first"?

        March 12, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
      • MDATB

        It is about finding other life.Discovering more.Gathering knowledge.

        March 12, 2013 at 5:48 pm |
      • Greg

        To do what? What good is this specific knowledge if you can't use it productively? Will somebody, anybody, tell me how this trip is worth $2.5 billion other than to satisfy curiosity?

        March 12, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
      • Knuckles Nuclear

        Greg,
        some of the greatest discoveries of scince were made when people were either doing basic research with no material goal in mind. Isaac Newton had no particular need while discovering how light and motion worked other than he wanted to know. Now the modern worlkd couldn't even function without that basic knowledge. Penicllin, rubber, teflon, plastic,are just some of the accidental discoveies while doing basic research.
        The discovery of helpful plants, and chmicals came from exploring far distant lands. You could go on and on with this.

        March 12, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
      • btechno

        @greg: there is a return on investment. In fact, NASA has one of the highest ROIs of any government agency. It's not just the end goal that is important – it is the process of getting there too.

        March 12, 2013 at 6:06 pm |
    • MDATB

      And look at it.Without such science where would we be?

      March 12, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
    • sandalista

      Ignorance is truly bliss....

      March 12, 2013 at 5:53 pm |
      • And I hope they find Intelligent Life OUT THERE...

        ... because there's BUGGER ALL down here on Earth!

        March 12, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
    • Mike

      You may find this enlightening:
      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BFO2usVjfQc&w=640&h=390]

      March 12, 2013 at 5:53 pm |
    • HurrZ

      Crawl back into your cave.

      March 12, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
    • drksideken

      What if a new bacterial strain that is reproducible is discovered and is something that is found to be able to cure Cancer? Maybe a new antibiotic that whip the butt of the super virus strains? I think it's worth it.

      March 12, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
      • Brenda

        Please stop with the "there may be life" stories about Mars for the billionth time. Just prove it or disprove it already.

        March 12, 2013 at 7:09 pm |
    • william parrish

      Wow! you really don't know how important it is to find out if there is life on other worlds? Wow!

      March 12, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
    • A

      Jeez, it's comments like these on an internet board with, likely, a PERSONAL COMPUTER, that irritate me. Are you not aware that much of the technology boom and invention of things like the computer and the internet basically started with technology used to get us to the Moon?

      What's the return on investment for the invention of those things, huh?

      It's so ridiculous how myopic people are sometimes. Space explorations creates technologies that we then use for things in our lives later on. You simply cannot predict the future benefits of effectively harnessed large-scale human ambition - Space is one of those places where that is possible.

      What's the ret

      March 12, 2013 at 6:09 pm |
      • CalDude

        I agree with you that the technology used to just get to Mars can be applied to our everyday life.... but so can military technology.... just saying. ;-)

        March 13, 2013 at 9:41 am |
    • Eric

      Space exploration has resulted in a large number of inventions and discoveries that have applications and benefits to society here on earth.

      March 12, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
    • Neil

      Did you even read the article? The main purpose of the mission is not to find life like your stupid dog and its poop.
      The fact that you are able to come here online and talk nonsense is enough reason to invest on Science and technology. The technology used to develop and send this rover and the learning involved could be useful to solve problems related to defense, efficient use of energy, green energy (wait, you may not understand that.. so here it is for you.. it could reduce your sorry a** dependency on gasoline), new minerals... and the list will go on.. it could practically help us solve a number of problems we encounter in our day to day life..
      Like someone said Ignorance is bliss...

      March 12, 2013 at 6:28 pm |
    • Danoshmano

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NASA_spin-off_technologies

      March 12, 2013 at 6:35 pm |
    • Dmoney

      Grey!

      This is one step closing to proving the bible, koran, exc are BS!!! Thats worth all the money in the world!!!!!

      And Greg, you disgust me. If everyone thought like you then we would still be in the 1800s. Thank goodness there are some people with brains in this world!

      March 12, 2013 at 7:06 pm |
      • John

        Do you really think that the God who created the exceedingly complex universe through the big bang and the intricate creation and use of physics, chemistry, biology, ect., will be disproved because He also made life on other planets? Really? You must mistake all Christians with young-earth, Bible-only (with no use of reason) type believers.

        March 12, 2013 at 8:34 pm |
      • David Myers

        Hear hear. Well said. Thank you. There are too many like "Greg" in the world even if most of them are just trolls out to irritate people.

        March 12, 2013 at 9:26 pm |
  14. palintwit

    Physicists at the prestigous Sarah Palin Galactic Observatory / Bait Shop have announced that they will land on the sun by the end of this decade. In a recent press conference Sarah Palin herself explained to skeptics that the landing will take place at night when the sun is much cooler.

    March 12, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
    • Zooompilot

      LOL!!!!!

      March 12, 2013 at 5:43 pm |
    • palintwit

      ^ fake palintwit

      March 12, 2013 at 5:45 pm |
      • Greg

        Get over yourself...nobody cares which palintwit wrote this or anything else.

        March 12, 2013 at 5:48 pm |
      • palintwit

        Ha ha. Guess he told you.

        March 12, 2013 at 5:53 pm |
      • Greg

        ^ fake Greg

        March 12, 2013 at 6:08 pm |
      • palintwit

        You're not that clever.

        March 12, 2013 at 6:11 pm |
      • palintwit

        Thank you Greg for schooling the fake palintwit. Maybe they'll go away finally.

        March 12, 2013 at 6:13 pm |
      • palintwit

        Greg, you know me well enough to realize that my posts are intellectually superior to that low brow imposter and I thank you for that.

        March 12, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
      • palintwit

        Greg, will you be my friend? I am tired of all these faux palintwits and it's getting so bad that I cannot even remember that stuff I wrote versus the stuff they wrote. Anyway, I live in an upper suburbia and only eat foods that are grown North of the Mason Dixon line. Let's be pals Gregster.

        March 12, 2013 at 6:26 pm |
      • David Myers

        Admit it now palintwit (both of you). You are just talking to yourself and having the rest of us on, right? Either that or doing a Smeagle/Gollum trip, either way, the only one(s) you are entertaining are yourselves.

        March 12, 2013 at 9:30 pm |
  15. AZLib

    While interesting, we don't have the cash for this type of science. If other countries would contribute then fine, but for now NASA must / should go away. We are talking about Billions of $$$ combine that we the cost of unfunded war in Afghanistan and the over beefed up NSA we are just spending like crazy all the while our infrastructure is crumbling. We need bring jobs back to the US, stop playing worlds policeman, stop sending Israel 6 billion a year and work on turning our country around to work on alternate forms of energy long before we continue to fund interesting science. If the US would stop spending so much on Nasa, over bloated military and ungrateful countries, concentrate on education, health care and domestic rebuilding we could put ourselves back on top.

    March 12, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
    • MDATB

      Oh,yeah,cut the 17 billion dollar budget for NASA,which has done much for science and humanity,but ignore the fact that a trillion dollars spent in Afghanistan and Iraq.Don't take the least rational course of spending.NASA has a paltry budget.

      March 12, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
      • MDATB

        Also,NASA has helped education.

        March 12, 2013 at 5:37 pm |
    • Hello22

      For comparison's sake, let's assume the US receives $1 in tax revenue. How much does NASA get out of that dollar? Half of a penny.

      March 12, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
    • jim

      Seems to me the space and science industry has created a huge number of jobs, and pure scientific research has led to pracitcal offshoots that werent even dreamed of when the pure science was done.
      eg Maxwell experimenting with magnets and electormagnetism- led to the discoverey and understanding of electromagnetic energy and: radio, tv, radar, radiotherapy for cancer, computers, GPS's, lightbulbs, calculators, I could go on for quite a while. If Maxwell hadnt done the pure science, we would still be using candles.
      What has come of space research and exploration ? Understanding of weather systems,climate change, prediction of earthquakes and hurricanes, understanding of the evolutions of stars like our sun and how that may affect us (sunspots, gamma ray bursts, etc etc ), again the list goes on and on and on.

      March 12, 2013 at 5:43 pm |
    • orry9992

      Space X is what NASA wishes it was.

      March 12, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
      • mdwesterngrl

        two different things. Nasa excels at the first attempts and long term discoveries. Private companies excel once space technologies are well founded and a profit can be derived from it in a reasonable time frame.

        March 12, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
      • Nick

        Seriously?? You do realize that NASA put together 2,000 lb (900 kg) chemistry/geology laboratory on wheels. sent it to Mars, landed it safely with a device something akin to a rocket-pack within about a mile from the centre of its landing zone, while simultaneously monitoring *and photographing* the robot parachuting down using *two other* Mars orbiting missions, don't you?

        SpaceX is trying to make a business out of sending things into low-Earth-orbit, cheaply. An amazing accomplishment, to be sure, but NASA is in an entirely different league. NASA is interested in science, not the delivery business.

        March 12, 2013 at 11:07 pm |
    • Mike Malik

      No one could have said it any better. I think you grasped at the root causes and hit them on the head. I put Iraq war in the same balance. Lost causes alongwith wasted time and resources. All of that money and resources could have been well spent in our Home Land called USA. Thank you.

      March 12, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
      • A

        Says the guy who is using his computer to post on the internet - two technologies that wouldn't be invented without space exploration efforts in the 1960's.

        And to put this in perspective, NASA's whole budget is basically 1.5 weeks of the expenditures in the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. And NASA's advances probably make the world like us, as opposed to war mongering.

        March 12, 2013 at 6:13 pm |
    • kody

      Yes. Maybe if all of these things happened, your writing would be coherent, you would be more intelligent, and not argue from such close-minded and ignorant standpoints. NASA, and ‘interesting science,’ has contributed more to humanity than I, or anyone else, could explain without writing a full length book.

      March 12, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
    • CMFJ

      First, NASA employs people HERE IN THE US. Second, by focusing only on the scientific data collected during this mission, you are missing half of the benefits of the money spent by NASA. They have a long history of creating technologies for their missions which can be commercialized. For previous examples, see this site http://spinoff.nasa.gov/Spinoff2008/tech_benefits.html.

      While I agree that our infrastructure does need work and money should be spent in that sector of the economy, we should also be putting money into scientific research and development, of which NASA is part.

      March 12, 2013 at 7:07 pm |
    • jimmer freddette

      So 2.5 billion dollars is a waste of money to discover life and advance our science and technology, but giving middle eastern countries billions of dollars just to put a military base on their land isnt. Or better yet the billions of dollars we're giving is going straight to the terrorist's pockets. Is that not wasting money?

      March 12, 2013 at 10:48 pm |
  16. Elton John

    Mars ain't the kind of place to raise your kids,

    In fact its cold as hell...

    March 12, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
  17. oliver

    Queue simultaneous creationism backstrokery with requisite positioning of intelligent design claptrapination.

    March 12, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
    • John

      Because believing in multiverse, string, or some other theories that cannot be proven, will always be posited, and will never be seen (sound familiar?) is somehow a more honorable position than putting faith in science as the 'how' and faith in God as the 'why'. This is possibly the most philosophically and intellectually sound logic and reasoning I have ever come accross. Ever.

      March 12, 2013 at 8:42 pm |
      • isolate

        You're trying to blur the line between religious belief and scientific hypotheses. Belief need not be founded on any evidence whatsoever; scientific hypotheses are educated guesses by highly educated people. If insufficient proof is found to support them, they become history. There's a good guide to telling them apart:

        "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." ~ Epistle to the Hebrews 11:1

        Science is the opposite.

        March 12, 2013 at 9:26 pm |
  18. Dale Gribble

    That's not Mars. That's my backyard. NASA pays me cash, and pockets the rest.

    March 12, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
    • Theo

      I Get it backyard meaning A$$, like get your a$$ to maarz ( said in arnold voice )

      March 12, 2013 at 6:19 pm |
  19. Lori Lee

    Something tells me that we are all alone....

    March 12, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
    • Hello22

      Did you know that there are more stars in the universe than there are grains of sand on Earth? Did you also know that our sun is one of those stars? Think about that for a moment.

      March 12, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
      • Zooompilot

        And did you know that revolving around that star are a planet full of people who don't know that the LEFT LANE IS FOR PASSING and NOT FOR DRIVING AT 35 MPH WHILE PUTTING ON YOUR DAMNED LIPSTICK! Think about that!

        March 12, 2013 at 6:03 pm |
      • Reemo

        You must also realize that the Universe is ridiculously big. In fact, the very first radiowaves sent from Earth over 40 years ago just recently reached the next nearest star to us. As more data comes in, it's becoming more and more clear that there isn't any intelligent life within a 30 lightyear radius of Earth. Realistically speaking, if we're not alone, we likely won't communicate with any other intelligent life out there for at least another 1,000 years (unless we figure out a way to instantly warp matter across the galaxy). It's kind of hard to get excited about things that might happen a thousand years after I die.

        March 12, 2013 at 6:08 pm |
  20. MDATB

    Mars may have had life,like in areas where water,the chemicals,and where there is heat to quicken the reaction.

    March 12, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
    • roccop777

      All the ingredients that have been found on Mars reported here and even more have been combined in many finely tuned experiments trying to replicate abiogenesis - and guess what, nothing near life has ever arisen out of it (only a racemic mix of amino acids which are useless as a basis for life). What makes you think it can happen on Mars when doesn't happen in ideal conditions here on earth? Abiogenesis is an illusion.

      March 12, 2013 at 6:06 pm |
      • edwardcraighyatt

        Completely false. The famous Miller-Urey experiment and related experiments resulted in a wealth of organic compounds including amino acids which are the building blocks of proteins. Read the papers for yourself. If you can, in fact, read.

        March 12, 2013 at 7:21 pm |
      • roccop777

        to Edwardcraighyatt: Although I disagree with you, I can assure you that I am literate. Yes I have read summaries of, and am familiar with, the Miller/Urey experiment as well as the follow-up ecperiments done by Sidney Fox and Juan Oro. These experiments didn't result in "in a wealth of biological compounds" as you seem to think. Actually the results were pretty meager –the most substantial were some amino acids - but they were a racemic mix and therefore useless for forming proteins. Even Urey himself publically admitted, that this experiment does not cast light on how proteins (much less life) could arise out of lifeless chemicals. I have spoken with one of Germany's top biochemist about this and he agrees, that the Miller/Urey experiment was a dead-end.

        March 13, 2013 at 7:50 am |
  21. Sir Jimmie Russells, Esq.

    Haven't we already known this for like a decade?

    March 12, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
    • drksideken

      It was strongly speculated upon, but no one knew for sure. Now we have pretty conclusive evidence that it was once possible that a form of at least bacterial life could have developed on mars at some point. This news is huge and warrants further study. With this news, the possibilities for discovery have just gone up dramatically.

      March 12, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
  22. Ed

    I like buttered toast.

    March 12, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
  23. Stephen Kaufman

    Looking at the myriad of ways under which life exists in our world makes it most probable that life exists (ed) in many parts of the universe. Further, what makes us think that life coujld onlhy develop under conditions found only here? When we evoke the continuum of time as it relates to evolution and the "infinite" number of celestial bodies, life must (should) exist elsewhere. Only to be around when we discover life or life discovers us!

    March 12, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
    • jim

      What I find fascinating is that life has evovled under conditions entirely alien to us right here on Earth. Life has been discovered flourishing on the sea floor around thermal vents, which provide energy. There is no light, the pressures are enormous, and yet life, totally alien to us, has evovled and flourished there.
      It seems that wherever there is water, organic molecules, and an energy source, life evovles. And we also know form studying comets, that organic molecules seem to be abundant, at least in our solar system, and likely in the 500 billion solar systems that likely exist in our galaxy, and the 500 billion other known galaxies.
      To me, there is absolutely no doubt that life is abundant in our universe.
      I wonder why that is?

      March 12, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
      • David Myers

        Bravo. A fine statement of truth and perspective. I sure wish there was a "like", "fan", or "favorite" button on here!

        March 12, 2013 at 9:39 pm |
  24. rome520

    peanutbutter! lol (random)

    March 12, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
  25. MDATB

    And to those who say NASA faked things,maybe you should simply real about that Apollo 11 landing craft on the moon,and more rovers on mars.

    March 12, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
    • isolate

      To a confirmed conspiracy theorist no amount of evidence will ever shake their beliefs. Fanatics are like that.

      March 12, 2013 at 9:29 pm |
  26. Greg Faith

    Good to know.

    March 12, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
  27. dajowi

    Could a
    Would a
    Should a

    That seems to be the case with Mars.

    Logic dictates that there is "life" other than human somewhere in the universe. But unless something living is brought forward, (not a presumption of life based on chemical analysis, or some type of fossil), no one's going to attach any significance to the find.

    March 12, 2013 at 5:17 pm |
    • sburns54

      I think a lot of significance would be attached to a fossil find.

      March 12, 2013 at 5:20 pm |
    • One Truth

      I attach a lot of significance to this find too!

      March 12, 2013 at 5:46 pm |
  28. Garland

    After reading some of the posts here, I would like to be part of the team going to Mars, to look for intelligent life.

    March 12, 2013 at 5:17 pm |
  29. are122

    If there was water there, there may have been fish. If there were fish then there were probably fishermen. So now all they need to do is dig around those areas to find old beer cans and thus proof of life.

    March 12, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
    • Tim

      That's the lesser known NASA policy: 'Follow the beer cans.'

      March 12, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
    • palintwit

      If they found old Chick-fil-A wrappers it would be proof of teabillies.

      March 12, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
      • freakazoid

        how about Martian kondoms with two heads!

        March 12, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
      • David Myers

        But they don't admit to humans being any older than 6000 years, along with the dinosaurs.

        March 12, 2013 at 10:09 pm |
    • palintwit

      ..And if they find a Juicy Couture purse loaded with peperoni flavored condoms, that would be mine.

      March 12, 2013 at 5:20 pm |
      • palintwit

        fake palintwit again ^

        March 12, 2013 at 5:29 pm |
      • palintwit

        Incidentally, you misspelled pepperoni.

        March 12, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
      • palintwit

        Wrong fake hacker. Peperoni is an acceptable Italian variation of peperoncini.

        March 12, 2013 at 5:37 pm |
  30. Sara

    Maybe we can discard both the ceationist and evolution theories. Maybe we all came over from Mars.

    March 12, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
    • Buck Rogers

      Or, we can fake a Mars landing in vain efforts to try to con the masses so folks won't believe in God's Word and instead heed to the fraud and fakery of evolution....

      http://www.fountainsofthegreatdeep.com/baikonur.htm

      March 12, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
      • religion; a way to control the weak minded

        wow get back on your medication

        March 12, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
      • Stosh

        A true discovery that life once existed on Mars would in no way disprove the existence of God. Only radical fundamentalists (meaning, not true Christians) would think otherwise.

        March 12, 2013 at 5:20 pm |
      • Speaking of "fraud and fakery"

        Do people really believe the nonsense that is on that web site? I mean, really, just how insane do you have to be to think anything there is remotely valid?

        March 12, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
      • sburns54

        Someone call an orderly! Mr. Rogers has wiggled out of his restraints again!

        March 12, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
      • Bob

        If you get any dumber you're going to need to start wearing a helmet!

        March 12, 2013 at 5:55 pm |
      • Dan

        Your god's word is actually man's word. There are no gods, fairies, unicorns, etc. Grow up. You are confusing real scientific facts with absurd religious nonsense. I hope you didn't waste too much of your valuable time creating that website.

        March 12, 2013 at 8:48 pm |
    • Dan

      There is actually an interesting theory that we can in fact trace our roots to Mars (the validity of the argument is obviously questionable). The theory is that Mars was once the hot-bed for life in our solar system (microbes), and that during the late heavy bombardment, large asteroids hit Mars with such force that smaller rocks were sent back into space carrying "passengers" from Mars. A small fraction of the rocks eventually made their way to Earth, resulting in life on Earth! A special thanks to Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman (awesome show, btw)

      March 12, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
      • One Truth

        Agree; very likely.

        March 12, 2013 at 5:48 pm |
  31. Lilly

    So what. In a few hundred years, alien visitors would be saying the same thing about earth.

    March 12, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
  32. MArS

    The ego of man never ceases to astound me. The presumption that life can only exist where there is non-acidic water is astounding. Who are we to say that there isn't life somewhere out there that consumes acid, and urinates water? If life on earth was possible in these conditions, why couldn't life anywhere else be possible under entirely different conditions?

    March 12, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
    • jim

      Well, it sounds egotistcal but really its not. Its just that neutral pH water is a "universal solvent" , and as such,enables countless chemical reactions to occur that couldnt occur out of water.No one, of course knows what the possiblilities for life are, but our rather extensive knowledge of chemistry allows us to conclude that it would be much, much more likely to evolve in an environment containing neutral water- which also puts some limits on the temperatures at which life would likely evolve.

      March 12, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
      • David Myers

        You mean "life as we know it" – based on carbon-based compounds, amino acids, and water. Numerous other alternatives are at least theoretically possible.

        March 12, 2013 at 10:14 pm |
    • the guy above me doesn't know much about science

      Probably because acid is an organic molecule itself. Water is not. Water is a simpler molecule with better solvating power than acid. Its ability to form hydrogen bonds is greater than any molecule of similar complexity, which directly ties into its capability as a solvent, as well as its large heat capacity. This is all important to living things.

      March 12, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
      • jim

        No, acid is not a "molecule". An acidic compound is any compound that has a tendency to donate hydrogen ions (i.e protons) to other molecules. A basic compound accepts the protons. when an acid is put in water it releases protons, and the pH (the inverse log of the hydorgen ion concetration) decreases, and the water becomes "acidic".
        Most people, like yourself, think acid is a "substance" as in " I will throw acid in your face. There are an infinite number of acids, from the very weak acetic acid (vinegar) to the very powerful hydrochloric or sulfuric acids. If an acidic compound is added to water, dropping its pH, it becomes much less likely to harbour chemical reaction conducive to life, as the abundent protons are transferred to other chemicals, such as organic (carbon containing) molecules, causing them to degrade.

        March 12, 2013 at 5:35 pm |
    • Obervers

      It's not about ego. Its about facts based on observation and experiments. Life needs a certain kind of environment to evolve in. Life on earth is water-based (human body is mostly water). Where there is neutral pH water, life is likely. If this was not the case, then we would have seen life everywhere. For example: We would have seen life on Venus which has no liquid water, has temperatures rising to 900 C, has bone crushing atmospheric pressure to name a few. Life is resilient given the right conditions.

      March 12, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
  33. elandauCNN

    Would you want to visit Mars if it were possible?

    March 12, 2013 at 5:03 pm |
    • Berysax

      Being part of the mars colony would be an incredible experience. My only problem would be, are they gonna have xbox live there?! ;)

      March 12, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
      • drksideken

        I think some kinda gaming system....even an mmorpg would about be mandatory to the mental health of the colonists. Would help them deal with the isolation. I think they wanted to do experiments like that with mmo's at one time.

        March 12, 2013 at 5:44 pm |
    • MArS

      If I could get there and back in a week or two, sure...

      March 12, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
    • Jose

      Maybe after my vacation to Venus. You know to cool off.

      March 12, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
    • Nick

      For a two way trip... Definitely!
      For a one way trip... That would take some contemplation.

      I would like to tell others of my journey and hopefully inspire them to go even further.

      March 12, 2013 at 11:26 pm |
  34. ID

    Mars may very well of had life on it but it definitely doesn't anymore nor would it make much sense to try and rehabilitate the planet. The lack of a moon, another strong gravitational force allowed to planet to cool rapidly. Our moon helps keep our planet active, our volcanoes going etc. Io stays very active because of the gravitational force of Jupiter so on and so forth. In order to rehabilitate the planet you would need to create a moon so you have a perpetual force tugging on it, creating that friction, that heat necessary to maintain life, then terraform it otherwise you'll just waste your time.

    March 12, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
    • Pete

      ID – do some basic research before you on these rants. Mars has two moons. The trolls that comment on cnn.com have no idea what they are talking about.

      March 12, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
      • ID

        Seriously? Phobos and deimos are so tiny they are insignificant. Asteroids caught in orbit.

        March 12, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
      • @Pete

        While his rationale for why Mars cooled so quickly and Earth didn't b/c of friction is questionable, Mars' moons are about 6km and 22km wide respectively meaning that they exert little gravitational force on Mars.

        March 12, 2013 at 5:14 pm |
      • MDATB

        But tidal heating only works for a moon,and for mars to be tidally heated enough,it needs a object much larger than itself.

        March 12, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
    • FadeBook

      trillions of dollars spent on projects like this when people are starving and homeless, without dental or healthcare in your own back yard, just don't make sense

      March 12, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
      • MDATB

        It is worth it.It is our only purpose.To live and grow.Although they are a problem,what sounds better.Caring for others who are less fortunate or advancing humanity and technology.We can do both.And NASA is small in the budget category,only 17 billion.Look at the DOD budget.

        March 12, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
      • Fernando

        I'm sure it don't to you.

        March 12, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
      • Jeff Miller

        After eating at Costco for $1.50 yesterday I really can't believe anyone is starving. Why don't we put all money towards feeding the homeless and hungry towards opening more Costco eateries in each city?

        March 12, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
      • adopted USA

        Without the great achievements of science more people would be starving today, even though average life span would stand barely at 40. The contributions of science in human life is unmeasurable to say the least. Just to name a few: advance agriculture (which is why we are still able to feed this over populated earth), modern medicines, all the technologies of today that we take for granted all materialized due to science. Yes you are right that some people are still starving around the world and we should do as much as possible to eradicate that problem. Lately we are some what successful at that. There is new problems arising in huge part of the world, what is called obesity, and is due to too much food, not lack of food. However there will always be situation where someone somewhere will go hungry, that doesn't mean we abandon science.

        March 12, 2013 at 8:18 pm |
      • isolate

        If we spent trillions on feeding the hungry and housing the homeless, we would only have more hungry and more homeless. Subsistence farmers only raise more subsistence farmers, and the poorer the country the higher the birth rate. A good example is Africa. Well over a $trillion has poured into the continent since 1960, but there's precious little to show for it, other than lots more people. Spending a few billion on birth control might work a lot better.

        March 12, 2013 at 9:45 pm |
    • MDATB

      Our moon doesn't keep our volcanoes going.That is earths tectonics,and internal heat from radioactive decay and from its birth.Mars cooled quickly because it failed to keep heat.It was small,and lost its dynamo in the outer core,stopping the generation of its magnetosphere.A moon won't help much,and Io's volcanism is because of tidal heating by Jupiter. You need a large objects to make such heat by tugging,like Saturn.Just wanted to correct you in the facts.

      March 12, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
      • ID

        The moon plays a part in everything that goes on in our planet. Take our moon away from Earth and we would be Mars.

        March 12, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
      • MDATB

        We would not have a stable axial tilt,but other than that,not much will change.Also,tidal heating means we need a body much bigger than earth to heat the planet.Like Saturn.Everything would not fall into chaos.Earth exerts more of a pull on the moon then the moon does us.Where is the evidence?Mars is smaller than us,and loses heat quicker.

        March 12, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
      • drksideken

        No moon would almost certainly spell doom for a lot of the life on this planet. The ocean is a certain way. Change that and things that are not used to that certain way will most likely die off. What kind of flooding might we have with the tides out of whack? Not to mention there would be no more werewolves!!

        March 12, 2013 at 5:52 pm |
    • jungleboo

      Thanks for the sage advice. I sincerely doubt that anyone is thinking of "rehabilitating" the planet. The purpose of the study is pure knowledge, which pursuit often leads to unexpected discoveries that benefit mankind in other areas. Not to mention the joy in simply knowing rather than guessing or believing. Rehabilitating the planet is a ludicrous concept, to say the least.

      March 12, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
    • MDATB

      A moon is necessary for stability,like to control its axial tilt.But a moon,other than that,is not too much of a need.

      March 12, 2013 at 5:14 pm |
      • ID

        The stability helps keep the planet warm. An out of control axis means a shortage of rain, extreme temperature swings. Just like Mars which had water but nothing keeping it in check.

        March 12, 2013 at 5:29 pm |
      • MDATB

        True,but it does not mean planets without a moon can't harbor life.A moon is not completely necessary for life.

        March 12, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
      • ID

        It would make it very difficult without one. Mars had all the key components for life apparently but is missing what one last thing? A moon. You need more than just a moon obviously but they say it had a nice atmosphere, an active core, water and it's all additive. The moon and it's benefits would have kept Mars inhabitable for a long time.

        March 12, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
      • MDATB

        Again,a moon has no effect on its internal heat.Mars cooled off when it was small,losing much of its heat from radioactive decay and heat from formation.It was too small to keep the heat.When the outer core solidified,it stopped its magnetosphere from being generated,and its atmosphere began to erode.The water then evaporated.

        March 12, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
      • ID

        I think the stability of a moon would have kept the planet warmer for a longer period of time. Wobbles in the rotation of Mars swung the planet into about 40 extreme ice ages in the past 5 million years apparently. It accelerated the cooling process without a large moon. Again, the moon is essential and without it the Earth would be the same as Mars.

        March 12, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
      • MDATB

        And where is the Evidence for that?40?That would not happen.Axial tilt causes seasons.There would not be anything extreme,just seasons won't happen.Other than that,a moon doesn't have much.Internal heat is not affected.There is no tidal heating unless such moon is larger than the planet.

        March 12, 2013 at 6:04 pm |
      • ID

        You underestimate axial shifts. They cause catastrophic ice ages. The Earth wobbles and the seasons you mentioned are on the slightest of scales. Take our moon away, have the earth shift 40 degrees and it would destroy this planet. Mars has shifted so much over time it would be hard to imagine life ever having enough time to form and evolve. If life existed there it would be the most basic forms.

        March 12, 2013 at 7:16 pm |
      • David Myers

        ID: You state that Mars is only missing one thing necessary to allow life – a moon. As others have pointed out, only a nearby planetary body larger than mars could generate enough energy to keep mars hot enough for life. Mars is missing something far more important than a moon. It is missing being in the "habitable zone" – "the region around a star within which it is theoretically possible for a planet with sufficient atmospheric pressure to maintain liquid water on its surface." Now its possible that at one time mars had a "sufficient atmospheric pressure" to do so even at the distance from the sun that it is located, especially if that atmosphere had a heavy CO2 component to help trap what solar heat existed and keep that heat from being dispersed in space along with its atmosphere, but that is not the case at this point in time. Mars would be fine (solar radiation-wise) if it was in the same orbit as earth (which is smack inside of the "habitable zone" of our sun).

        March 12, 2013 at 10:45 pm |
  35. Buck Rogers

    Hey guys, check this out.... NASA recently opened up a hair salon in Baikonur....

    http://www.fountainsofthegreatdeep.com/baikonur.htm

    March 12, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
    • Slinky

      How's that tin foil hat fitting today? Seems a little tight, no?

      March 12, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
  36. McBob79

    Yeah, yeah... we've heard all of this before. So one question. How did the life start? It's very simple yet so far unexplained... except by these magical "crystals" or some chemical reaction that changes in inorganic matter into something living. I'm not disputing, but I just would like to hear an explanation and by the way, maybe a demonstration. Take inorganic material and create a living organism.

    March 12, 2013 at 4:59 pm |
    • JD

      Many people believe we "magically appeared" on earth (religion)...So, your sarcastic assumption is actually quite believable compared to the common religious theory of how we were created.

      March 12, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
      • Ohreally

        I don't know what religion you are referring too, as there are as many as religions as there are scientific theories. However, none of the religions I have ever studied state that life "magically appeared."

        They say that life was "created" by a greater, sentient "being" or "energy."

        Don't mouth off about things you don't understand, it only makes you seem even more foolish to the truly intelligent.

        March 12, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
    • Johnny

      Why do you think the question of how life started is an easy one?

      March 12, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
    • kvindicator

      The Miller-Urey Experiment, was an experiment that tested whether non living molecules can give rise to organic life. When Hydrogen, Methane, Ammonia and water were combined, they produced all 20 amino acids needed to build life. This experiment was conducted to determine whether life could have spontaneously began from ancient earth. Very interesting stuff.

      March 12, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
    • Fernando

      We haven't yet explained gravity, yet you respect it. I'm still not sure where "The Cloud" is. Are we in it? We may have to evolve a bit more before we can tackle some of these heavier questions. To assume we should be capable of explaining the origin of the universe or life strikes me as bit arrogant.

      March 12, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
    • Ixion

      Life on this planet is made of organics, organics are not alive. In fact, no one knows what makes things alive other then they perform all the actions necessary to be alive. None of the individual things that make up your body are alive. None of the minerals, none of the liquids, none of the molecules. You are alive because of a combination of those things somehow working together to make life.. What causes those none living things to make life is still somewhat a mystery.

      We can explain the processes of life, but we have no idea what kicked it off.

      March 12, 2013 at 5:48 pm |
    • isolate

      Dr Craig Venter has done exactly that, as a follow-up to have decoded the human genome. Off the shelf chemicals combined in just the right way and you have a fully functioning life form. Dr Venter is a pioneer in the field of synthetic biology See www dot.jcvi dot org.

      March 12, 2013 at 9:54 pm |
  37. MrMister

    Woulda, coulda, shoulda been life on Mars; yet there wasn't.

    March 12, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
    • Fernando

      And Who told you this?

      March 12, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
    • lolol

      My uncle was on Mars 100 trillion years ago. there was life. he told me.

      March 12, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
  38. Johnny 5

    We will eventually leave earth to live on Mars. Nothing will be left on earth but lawnmowers. The next inhabitants of earth will then worship the lawnmowers.

    March 12, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
    • sburns54

      They will worship the mowers, and the men who used them- Mexican lawn care workers- will be looked on as gods.

      March 12, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
  39. Really

    Is it true there is a ring around Uranus ?

    March 12, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
    • bristoltwit palin... America's favorite dancing cow

      Mmmmmm... uranus rings

      March 12, 2013 at 4:59 pm |
  40. Bstrand

    I wanna know what they really know about Mars...

    March 12, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
    • Fernando

      Martian global cooling deniers allowed all life to die off on Mars tens of millions of years ago.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:59 pm |
    • Greg

      It is millions of miles away and has drinking water. Pricetag of this information = $2.5 billion. Value of this information = $0 except to the nerd that it answers it correctly on Jeopardy.

      March 12, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
  41. Greg

    All I read is that the water is drinkable...so what? Did this justify the cost of sending a probe millions (and millions and millions) of miles away? To see if there is drinkable water and common minerals? What a complete waste of taxpayer dollars.

    March 12, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
    • lolwut

      Herp.

      Furthermore, derp.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
    • Ixion

      Ah yes, because if we would not have sent this probe we might have been able to buy, what, an other 1k cruise missiles.

      We should be cutting weapons procurement and the nuclear stock pile.. Not cutting things that will further increase knowledge.

      March 12, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
  42. fffff

    who cares about mars?

    March 12, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
    • Theo

      People with imagination and intelligence ?

      March 12, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
      • vince

        Good answer theo...

        March 12, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
      • Amy

        Or second graders.

        March 12, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
    • n222s

      f, every journey requires a first step. Cliche'd, I know, but as a people we can walk and chew gum at the same time. LOL, another cliche. My point is that you explore and research today even though we may not see the rewards for a hundred years. You cannot say, with complete assurance, that this exploration will lead nowhere. For crying out loud, we have people talking of mining meteorites (or comets, can't remember which). That would have seemed far off in the future 60 years ago. Because you cannot see past tonight's dinner doesn't mean we should stop exploring.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
      • Berysax

        What is for dinner tonight?

        March 12, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
      • n222s

        Bery, porkchops and applesauce.

        March 12, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
      • Berysax

        Youre my hero for answering that.

        March 12, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
      • mike brady

        @n222s: ain't it shwell?

        March 18, 2013 at 9:20 am |
  43. R Thatcher

    DEFINATELY POSSIBLE! Nothing new here...

    March 12, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
    • Jerry

      Yeah, certainly not people who can spell "definitely"......

      March 12, 2013 at 7:54 pm |
  44. move_on

    We want our own mini-bot that can be controlled with a smart-phone now. Time for a groupon buy and a cluster launch!

    March 12, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
  45. Pete

    That'd be cool if they found something that looked like a trilobite fossil :)

    March 12, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
  46. John kon

    Are you sure these pictures are not taken somwhere in Nevada ?

    March 12, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
    • Don

      Hahhaaaa.. well, there are pics out (I can't leave links on here, CNN gets nervous) illustrating a picture of what appears to be Mars with the shadow of the Mars Rover but with the shadow of a man with a backpack, reaching up and cleaning or adjusting something on it.....LOL,, and it looks pretty convincing!

      March 12, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
    • CommonSense

      Yes

      March 12, 2013 at 8:04 pm |
  47. n222s

    We need to keep exploring. Though we can't always quantify or monetize the gains, we will reap them. There were people who wanted us to focus on Earth and not build rockets because...what is in space anyway? Well, lets try and do without satellites for example. Better communications, weather forecasting, etc. Had we listened to the people who cannot look to the future we would still be stuck with a lot of 60's technology.

    As for religion, you cannot stop exploration and research. And I am speaking as one who believes in God. Regardless of what such exploration and research might bring. God provides us with tools. We cannot turn our back on them simply because it might prompt questions. He can handle it, I'm sure.

    And to the non-believers, if I believe in research and exploration regardless of what it might bring, why ridicule me? If I am tolerant of you regardless of your beliefs or my belief in your sin, what does it matter to you? Unless, of course, you are an arrogant soul that only derives pleasure from ridiculing others. If I don't stand in your way AT ALL and you still ridicule me, you are no better than the nut on the street corner condeming the souls of people they have never met. To the nut (and you) it matters little what the other person believes. It is more important for you to be "superior".

    March 12, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
    • flyonthewall

      I'm perfectly OK with your irrational belief in stories that the sky faery gods will come back to save you some day....though it would go a long ways for you if you would keep your judgments like calling me a "sinner" just because I refuse to accept your irrationality and silly ancient books written by the Muslim forefathers.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
      • n222s

        Hence, flyguy, my comparison of the intolerant atheist to the nut on the corner condemning souls. You know nothing of me. My beliefs, my desire for tolerance or your atheism though you have trouble tolerating my beliefs. Does my belief in the sinful acts of others (or myself, believe me, I have) matter? Particularly if I don't seek to do harm to a person because of my perception of their sinful acts?

        For example, if a business person engages in a legal, yet unethical outrageous activity, would you advise us not to judge that person? Legalities aside, what is wrong with finding that activity wrong in your moral world view? Perhaps there is little you could do but would you be wrong to judge if the activity is legal?

        My point is that we all make moral judgements, regardless of whether it involves a deity. What you call an outrage might be something I call a sin. And if I have no legal right to stop that outrageous activity or sin, how does my morality stand in your way if your differing view of that activity?

        For if you are truly tolerant you must be tolerant of my morality if it doesn't get in your way. If I can't stop you from pursuing an activity I deem immoral or sinful, how are you harmed by my belief?

        March 12, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
      • n222s

        In truth fly, you reserve the right to judge the beliefs of others yet have no desire to be judged yourself.

        You may be the most moral, ethical person on the planet. I have no way of knowing otherwise. But, sight unseen, you judge my belief system and whether I believe you to be a sinner. What makes you a god that can stand in judgement of me without having met me? Sounds like a nut standing on the corner condemning the souls of people he has never met.

        March 12, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
    • ic32teeth

      What they are not showing are the photos of alien faces that are carved in the rocks that leaked out on the internet. What they are not showing is the alien skull found next to a old river bed. What they are not showing is the half buried alien spacecraft that apparently crashed onto Mars. Come on NASA release the real images that you don't want us to see! We are ready for the truth!!

      March 12, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
      • Sara

        Have you ever heard of optical illusions?

        March 12, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
      • sburns54

        Leaked on the internet! Everyone knows that if it's on the internet, it must be true! You probably have a French boyfriend that you met on the internet, like that girl on the State Farm TV commercial..

        March 12, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
      • David Myers

        I think you are confusing reality with a movie you saw when you were stoned.

        March 13, 2013 at 12:49 am |
    • stanley

      " If I am tolerant of you regardless of your beliefs or my belief in your sin, what does it matter to you?"
      It matters to me because I care about the truth. I want to know as accurately as possible what the Universe contains and how it came to be. Moreover, I want knowledge to be spread as widely as possible, not restricted to an elite group, so that humanity can move forward together in the search for knowledge. I believe in the importance of public education, and the importance of a rational public to the political life of any democracy.
      It is not religion per se that I'm opposed to, but rather the illogical thinking that allows religion to exist. In your case, illogic lead you to a belief in God, but a tolerant belief that presumably doesn't hurt others. But the same type of thinking can just as easily lead people to believe in quackery, and forgo medical treatments that can save their lives for dangerous snake oil peddled by unscrupulous merchants. The same type of thinking causes others to denounce gays as evil, stone people to death for apostasy, deny women the right to appear in public, commit genocide in the name of religion, and suffocate their daughters to death for refusing to be an object hidden behind a black and oppressive hijab. The immediate source of these evils is religion; the more distant source is illogical thinking. Attacking only the effects of illogic is not helpful because it is similar to cleaning up flood water without holding back the river causing the flood–no matter how much you clean up, more will come.
      I hope this explains why I oppose religion for reasons other than trying to feel superior.

      March 12, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
  48. HistorysGirl

    So can NASA now please explore Cydonia?

    March 12, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
    • Nogoodnasa

      Won't matter because NASA will never divulge the truth of anything indicating life beyond micro organisms.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
      • David Myers

        Claptrap. I believe in the conspiracy to assassinate JFK involving the CIA, FBI, Secret Service, LBJ, and the mafia, but you are talking nonsense.

        March 13, 2013 at 12:52 am |
    • tabone

      When they took higher resolution pictures of the "Face on Mars" in Cydonia they found it was just an optical illusion...up close it is just another martian hill...

      March 12, 2013 at 5:03 pm |
  49. agathokles

    A few million years from now, a probe sent to earth from some far off planet will be reporting back that earth, too, once possessed conditions that could have supported life...

    March 12, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
    • Stormy

      I I was thinking the same thing.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
  50. palintwit

    Someday when we finally colonize Mars it will be possible to deport all the teabaggers, birthers, inbreds and just about anyone south of the Mason-Dixon line. They will be allowed to take their assault weapons so that they can blow their own brains out if they wish.

    March 12, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
    • paul

      LMAO

      March 12, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
    • Dean Patrick

      Does this mean we get to spend more of our depleted funds on going to Mars?

      March 12, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
    • palintwit

      Notice how I manage to roam from site to site interjecting political fodder wherever I go? That's because me's intellegent and your nott!! So thier you have it.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
      • palintwit

        Not the real palintwit ^

        March 12, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
      • palintwit

        No, not the real palintwit ^

        Please stop stealing my name you nerf herding jerk!

        March 12, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
      • palintwit

        Oh my god! My name is soooooooooo no funny and two d-bags keep arguing over it!

        March 13, 2013 at 2:59 am |
    • What_the?

      Wow, that's just really rude. Your ideas of the southern states are so skewed as to be ridiculous.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
    • CNNOT

      and to grant George Carlin's wish, post them on pay per view

      March 12, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
    • Don

      Can that trip also include the global elites, the CFR's, the Tirlateral Commission members and the present administration so we can put them on trial and hang them from a fake Xmas tree since, there are no trees there?.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
    • Wrecky

      And Quad will set them free...

      March 12, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
    • lolwut

      Thus proving that no topic is so remote from politics that some blinkered, frothing partisan can't find a way to shoehorn in a political reference.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
      • palintwit

        It's not always easy you know !

        March 12, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
    • Garland

      Yes, but the cities with the highest murder rate are north of the Mason-Dixon Line. Now what?

      March 12, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
  51. Theo

    Funny the religious people HATE the idea of possibility of life elsewhere and spending $$ on science.

    But they gladly fill the money basket every sunday to fund a fairy tale.

    March 12, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
    • Wallace

      They don't want to spend money on a mission to Mars because there's no one to hate there.

      .

      March 12, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
    • ROFLCOPTER Pilot

      Well, Pope Bowl CCLXVI is headline news, and is obviously more important than this story.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
    • Brian

      I find it funny that people separate science and religion so readily. I seem to remember from chemistry class that it was once considered a deep dark magic and was only practiced by the privileged holy men of the day

      March 12, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
      • Theo

        "I find it funny that people separate science and religion so readily. I seem to remember from chemistry class that it was once considered a deep dark magic and was only practiced by the privileged holy men of the day"

        I find it funnier that in your statement you showed religion is quackery. why would anyone want to combine ignorance with science.

        March 12, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
      • Brian

        I believe you are taking my statement out of context completely. I am merely stating that what is not understood is usually based on faith hence religion. When it is proven it becomes scientific fact. That is all. Religion is not invalid in fact it is completely valid we just cannot put tangible proof to it yet

        March 12, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
      • Theo

        Ahh sorry Brian i thought you where trying to say the opposite

        March 12, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
      • jim

        One of my favorite quotes, from Albert Einstein (a reasonably smart man):
        Religion without science is blind
        Science withour religion is lame

        March 12, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
    • Berysax

      The dont wanna be stuck on mars when jesus comes flying out of the sky in his magic underwear, back here on earth.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
    • Theo

      "Well, Pope Bowl CCLXVI is headline news, and is obviously more important than this story."

      Thats because there are more dumb people than smart.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
      • B

        You just showed how ignorant and narrow minded you are. Whether you are Catholic, Atheist, or any other religious identifier, the election of a new Pope is something that everyone should take interest in. Whether you like it or not (and I'm not getting into that argument because it is pointless and frankly you can believe whatever you like) the Pope is one of the most influential people in the world and that kind of important office should hold interest for everyone. I can't say that I'm surprised though, that someone who is arrogant and ignorant enough to think they are smarter than anyone who believes in God, would not be able to understand and appreciate the magnitude of such an event. After all, you don't agree with it, so by definition it is dumb.

        March 12, 2013 at 6:19 pm |
    • vdgrgee

      You are beyond ignorant. I love how you clump everybody in a huge mass of people as the same. I am a christian, I don't go to church because most are hypocrites there, but I love science, and think it should be even more heavily funded, and I KNOW theres life beyond our solar system. So think before you speak, your ignorance is clouding your judgement.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
      • Berysax

        You support science and believe in a religion that can be traced to its origins. There are MUCH older religions. People like you just choose to ignore facts, or believe what your taught/told. Your ignorance is clouding your judgement.

        March 12, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
      • Theo

        So you goto a church pray to a robed man with a statue of a dead guy, thinking some GOD hears you and magic happens then you say you believe in science ? what science is that ?

        Maybe the science that put 6 million animals on a boat fed by 8 people ? or the science that Adam and Eve populated the earth through inbreeding ? or maybe its the talking donkeys and snakes ?

        March 12, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
    • Starnerd

      I consider myself a very religious person and look forward to the day when we do find extraterrestrial life, be it a microbe, fungus, fish or something that plays a good game of chess. I personally believe there are innumerable civilizations 'out there' and would very much love to learn about one.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
      • Theo

        Im a person who considers himself a very vegetarian person, i look forward to the day when i find rare and new animals to eat their meat.

        March 12, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
    • Fabio Mendes

      Wow Theo, from a normal scientific news, you managed to start a thread slammnig religion. Why do I get the feeling there is a bit of an agenda here that goes beyond the content of the article? Can you cite your sources supporting the hate of religion towards science funding please?

      March 12, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
      • Theo

        "Can you cite your sources supporting the hate of religion towards science funding please?"

        Read all the forum posts in this thread

        March 12, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
    • palintwit

      Thank God for churches, the majority of the colleges where started by... wait for it.... churches.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
      • palintwit

        palintwit imposter again ^

        March 12, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
    • gottalovedisney

      Funny how you don't know religious people at all.

      The very fact that Christians believe in God – means they believe in the existence of life beyond earth.

      Stop the religious hate and get your facts straight.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
      • Theo

        "means they believe in the existence of life beyond earth."

        Like maybe a planet of robed pedophiles ? that would be heaven to them

        March 12, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
    • Don

      Not sure what you are alluding to there but, I'm Christian and space exploration excites me. I have no problem with there being life of some kind on Mars at some point in time.... has no bearing on my faith either way.

      If it wasn't included biblically, it wasn't important.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
    • Berysax

      It took me a second to get your vegetarian comment, then i was lmao. That deserves to be on reddit.

      March 12, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
    • TrickMagnet

      They would rather spend money on war than on science.

      March 12, 2013 at 5:20 pm |
    • Berysax

      I made you anonymously famous... http://www.reddit.com/r/atheism/comments/1a68bu/cnn_blogs_comments_about_newest_discovery_on_mars/

      March 12, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
      • Theo

        Haha thanks !

        March 12, 2013 at 6:08 pm |
  52. ColdWarVet75

    If there is intelligent life on Mars, please export it to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. There hasn't been any there since January 2009. Oh and those are his ears, not radar dishes.

    March 12, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
    • steve in texas

      And the most pitiful post of the day goes to...that guy. Good grief, nobody cares, crazy vet dude.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
    • paul

      The drudge heads are here

      March 12, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
    • dangle13x

      Brilliant. What a fresh take on mongoloid message board humor. Do you have a twitter handle or a blog? I'd love to hear some more of this cuting edge material.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
    • rizzo

      Nice racism, good job!

      March 12, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
    • wil7483

      If you think GWB2 was intelligent then you are surely a moron.

      March 12, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
    • David Myers

      The cold war is over, or haven't you heard?

      March 13, 2013 at 1:02 am |
  53. steve in texas

    Reading the majority of posts in here, I'm doubtful there's intelligent life on Earth, never mind Mars.

    March 12, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
    • um

      someone from Texas calling others stupid? The same state that literally rewrote the history books for schoolkids because they had some supposed "agenda"? That's REALLY funny.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
      • steve in texas

        Good retort. It's well known that what a State does is endorsed by every single one of it's citizens. Well thought out.

        March 12, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
      • OrygunDuck

        People are smarter in Austin.

        March 12, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
      • dangle13x

        He's cool in my book. You've managed to come off as a moron though.

        March 12, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
    • David

      Steve I would drop the Texas at the end, because we are not really sure if there is any intelligent life in Texas. Maybe NASA could prove once and for all there is intelligent life in Texas? That would surely make headlines around the world.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
      • steve in texas

        I'm in the part of Texas that's more than 6000 years old.

        March 12, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
      • Davd Lege

        And just to get back to the space exploration theme, I guess it was non-intelligent life in Houston that planned and executed every manned space flight the US has ever undertaken.
        It's real easy to paint 25 million people with a broad brush and believe they are all the same, easy ,that is , if you give in to the prejudice that plagues small minds.

        March 12, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
    • Wallace

      Haaa Haa Haa...

      ...Hey.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
    • Berysax

      Im in a part of California where the coso indians lives 15,000 years ago. We also have 13 million year old fossils here in Kern county. Does that mean I win? 0_o

      March 12, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
  54. crappygovernment

    That's great, but many of us still wish NASA had not faked the Apollo Moon Landings. Feel free to click on my name for an informative blog on that topic!

    March 12, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
    • steve in texas

      If you click on his name, you get a free roll of tinfoil.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
      • Noocrat

        Ha, thanks for the laugh Steve.

        March 12, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
    • Theo

      I clicked on it and it brought me to happyacres dot com

      March 12, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
    • jake90

      You must be pretty stupid to think that the government faked the Apollo landings. All conspiracy theories about the apollo landings have been debunked a long time ago.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
    • GC -> Major Tom

      I clicked on the name, but it took me to NAMBLA's web page. Now I have to burn my computer.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
    • Theo

      This guy is just in denial of his wife faking something else

      March 12, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
    • Wallace

      Please stop.

      You're giving everyone's brains gas.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
    • agathokles

      It's amazing that folks who, on the one hand, think gov't is incapable of doing anything right are the same folks who are convinced that gov't pulled off these elaborate hoaxes.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
      • David Myers

        You said they believe that government is incapable of doing anything right. I would say they refuse to do things right (meaning morally right from a secular humanist point of view). They are, however experts at doing things wrong (i.e. from an ethical point of view).

        March 13, 2013 at 1:07 am |
  55. Chris

    I thought this had already been confirmed a long time ago. In other news: There is a distinct possibility we're not the only planet in the universe with life.

    March 12, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
    • steve in texas

      Uranus?

      March 12, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
      • Fernando

        Inhabited by Klingons.

        March 12, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
      • Mud

        I like you Steve. All of your posts have made me laugh.

        March 12, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
  56. DingExperience

    Does it really matter? Whose life is going to change if we find out for sure that Mars may have been capable of life. I can think of better things to spend our money on....

    March 12, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
    • steve in texas

      You make me depressed. I mourn your brain.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
    • ET

      Maybe Earth would be lucky enough to eradicate religion if we found life on other planets.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
    • GC -> Major Tom

      Yes, like war and corporate welfare. War is a great value! Spreading our poisoned democracy around the world 7.62mm at a time! OOoorah!

      March 12, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
    • Larry Wise

      Errdurr-burky-dorkey-snorky...I's smarts, I gradutated from college in Amorica...Errdurr-burky-dorkey-snorky.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
    • Wallace

      Zoloft will help you.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
    • Hello22

      Did you know that if the US Budget was $1, NASA only gets half of 1 cent? Half a penny of that dollar? Did you also know that your life is completely filled with technologies that originated from NASA projects? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NASA_spin-off_technologies Care to retract your statement?

      March 12, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
      • GPDaddy

        Did you know that half a cent multiplied by billions equals a lot of money?

        March 12, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
    • asdrel

      In 1492,

      King of France: Why should we fund a trip WEST to China, we're doing fine going around Africe...

      King of England: We have better things to spend out money on than some wasted voyage...

      Queen Isabella of Spain: What the heck, let's give it a try. Who knows what we may find out there.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
    • Sean

      what you should realize is they are looking for specific minerals to exploit and eventually mine and sell, such as rare earths etc , the fun will be when one country tries to claim them as theirs

      March 12, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
    • David Myers

      What? Like subsidies to "big oil"?

      March 13, 2013 at 1:09 am |
  57. Ben

    The calibration panel has a nickel penny. Martians probably think...."some alien dude named Lincoln from another universe was here."....... ;o)

    March 12, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
    • raynardo

      I believe it's a real copper penny – it's a 1909....

      March 12, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
      • Ben

        Right on! 1909 Copper Penny, it was. I had to use the magnifying glass to see it. Thanks for the correction!

        March 12, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
    • Wallace

      Or pennies from heaven.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
  58. Brian

    I think we should look at the very interesting idea that the history of our solar system is being looked at in a very physical way. We can may interpretations based off data as seen through telescopes but this is very tangible. No one said life existed on Mars but the building blocks are there. I think we all wonder is there life out there beyond our little blue rock. I see a lot of people posting about ok cool now Ill go work my job. Well I have a job too, this doesn't change life here on Earth but it opens up that real sense of wonderment about the universe around us. I for one am intrigued and remember the science fiction of today becomes the reality of tomorrow. FACT!

    March 12, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
    • blue moo

      dude excellent post

      March 12, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
  59. bgg1175

    Lets focus on LIFE ON EARTH!

    March 12, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
    • GC -> Major Tom

      bgg1175: doesn't focus on anything beyond his/her own nose. Derp derp derp!

      March 12, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
      • C. Scott

        Amen Major Tom. Amen!

        March 12, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
      • Chris

        Amen.

        If anything, we don't focus nearly enough of our time, energy and resources towards the pursuit of space exploration. Even if you take away the technologies we've garnered as a consequence of space exploration as well as the leaps in scientific understanding the upside of putting more of a focus on space exploration still yields more positives than negatives. For one, the trickle down effect of organizations like NASA needing more scientists and engineers would in turn force schools to put more of an emphasis on the maths and sciences and consequently lead more kids to strive to become astronauts, scientists, and engineers which would in turn up our nations learned intellect considerably. Another thing some of you might find a little far out, but that I believe is worth mentioning, is the fact that we as a species won't be able to live on planet earth forever. Eventually, we'll either need to find a way to successfully colonize another planet or moon, or to work out the kinks/technological barriers of living in space, and the earlier we start preparing ourselves for that the better. Yes, it might be another 2,000 years until we reach that point, but it might also be just 200 years, and in either case, ensuring our species survival isn't the kind of thing you procrastinate until the last minute.

        I

        March 12, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
    • AL

      Google benefits of space travel/exploration and you will see how focusing on space has helped us...immensely in technology, health, economy, and the soul.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
    • steve in texas

      Lets not and say we did.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
    • Wallace

      Oh sure, it always has to be about you.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
    • Noocrat

      Considering we've given NASA less money in 55 years than we spent on defense last year, I think we'll be ok if we keep sending a few buck their way.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
  60. bgg1175

    How many new schools here on Earth and raises for teachers could we have with that 2.6 Billion? Instead its running around on Mars so a few NASA people can have fun and supposedly we keep our NASA jobs which achieve what exactly?
    Absolute Lunacy from our deranged Government and political imbeciles!

    March 12, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
    • GC -> Major Tom

      The Dark Ages are calling; they want their m0ron back.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
      • Wallace

        Technically he's a village idiot.

        March 12, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
    • Hello22

      I don't think you realize how much of the technology we use today is based from the research and space projects conducted by NASA. You are the imbecile here.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
      • Steve

        Name one physical benefit to humankind that has been gained from actually being in outer space to a distance of the moon and beyond, other than the fact that we now know that people lose bone mass from being in space. No cure for cancer has been found, no breakthroughs on prolonging life or curing diseases have been found. It's neat to know there used to be water on Mars or what the moon is made of, but it's all trivial knowledge and changes nobody's life. All technological breakthroughs, and granted there have been many, have come from the act of getting to space, which means these same breakthroughs could have come about for other reasons. Satellites have benefited us a lot, but none are manned and most are in low Earth orbit. Going to the moon or to Mars provides us with many nice photos and cool information, that's it. These planets/moons are barren deserts. Our own deserts have yielded more breakthroughs than these far away worlds.

        March 12, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
    • steve in texas

      You made my brain cry

      March 12, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
    • Lz in Edmonton

      How many students will become scientists and engineers because of the things seen, learned and discovered by this investment in the future? That is the question you have to ask.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
    • wow

      everytime someone like this talks like that...it makes me sad that our species is doomed. What a total imbecile with no care about anything other than his little narrow version of life or caring about future generations.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
    • Sean

      Yes, use the money for other things, take all the dreams away and lets be strictly practical. This will give excitement in schools and encourage kids to excel... ?????

      March 12, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
    • Noocrat

      "How many new schools here on Earth and raises for teachers could we have with that 2.6 Billion" – 2.6 billion is essentially nothing in terms of our annual budget. Complain about campaign and defense expenditures.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:35 pm |
  61. T. Lee

    Interesting why NASA is content to drill and test rocks and sand to look for life – but apparently has no interest in landing near the "Face On Mars" (which is dispelled as nothing more than shadows on hills) to find out for sure if (a) that's all it is, "shadows" and (b) that no evidence of some form of life having built it as their world was dying to show that they were once there.

    March 12, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
    • GC -> Major Tom

      High resolution overhead shots of the "face" are available. Feel free to view them. Derp derp derp!!!!

      March 12, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
      • T. Lee

        Not the "derp" here derp.

        You believe a high relolution shot that could just as easily be doctored and/or "Photoshoped" – but of couse not the PHYSICAL confirmation that would be attained by an on-sight inspection. Keep your sarcasm and ignorance and save it for someone else.

        March 12, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
      • ROFLCOPTER Pilot

        @Tinfoil Hat Lee

        So why bother with a landing mission? You'll just claim the data from such a mission is fudged. Or you'll just say the entire mission was faked like the moon landings. So, uh, derp!

        March 12, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
    • Reasonably

      Why would you build a face when you could build something unmistakably technological and bury your history, codex, yadda under it. Why be all tinfoil hat about it?

      March 12, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
    • Theo

      They already did an easy test, they put a tin foil hat on and determined that the "face of mars" was conspiracy theory fodder years ago.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
    • Wallace

      But, if they landed on the face, they'd be too close to see the face...

      ..one must step back to appreciate the face (that's the way Zoltar made it.)

      March 12, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
    • Noocrat

      I don't see why that's interesting. If you have millions to spend on one mission to look for evidence of life, do you go the place you think is most likely to have life on the planet or do you go to a mountain to disprove conspiracy theorists?

      March 12, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
    • steve in texas

      Oh dear. Oh dear oh dear oh dear.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
  62. jesusrules

    WRONG!

    There is never nor was there ever life on mars as LIFE WAS MADE ON EARTH BY OUR LORD GOD AND SAVIOR AND JESUS WAS THE SAVIOR NOT A LITTLE GREEN MAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is just more pagan satanic science to confuse and decieve the christain and led them astray. ALL THESE SCEINTISTS SHOULD REPENT BECAUSE THEY ARE GOING TO BE CAST INTO THE PIT OF FIRE FOR THEIR GODLESS WAYS.

    THERE IS NO LIFE ON MARS NONE NEVER OR IT WOULD HAVE BEEN IN THE BIBLE AND IT IS NOT AND JESUS WAS NOT A LITTLE GREEN MAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 12, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
    • Hello22

      So once they prove that there was life on Mars, would that mean it is proof that your god never existed?

      March 12, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
      • jesusrules

        THIS IS EXACTLY PRECISELY AND 1000% WHAT I MEAN WHEN I TALK ABOUT HOW SCIENCE IS JUST SATANISM IN DISGUES AS THE "SCEINTIST" USES SCIENCE AS A TOOL TO CAUSE FOLKS TO DOUBT GOD AND JESUS AND BEGIN TO QUESTION THEIR GOD AND RELIGION AND THIS IS WRONG AND A SURE PATH TO THE PIT OF FIRE YOU HAD BETTER GET DOWN ON YOUR KNEES AND PRAY RIGHT NOW OR YOU WILL BURN I WILL PRAY FOR YOU EVEN THOUGH YOU ARE MY ENEMEY AND THERE IS LITTLE HOPE JESUS WILL ALMOST CERTAINLY CAST YOU INTO THE FIRE UNLESS YOU REPENT RIGHT THIS SECODN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        March 12, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
    • Tommy

      This is your brain on religion, scary.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
      • jesusrules

        My brain is just FINE and it is FILLED WITH THE TRUE WORD OF OUR GOD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST THE LORD. OK I wont keep writing caps but i get VERY UPSET when I see the WORK OF SATAN and this going off to mars is an example of it if they even really are on mars which i doubt as this is probably all just a special effects tv show to TRICK THE CHRISTIAN for there IS NO LIFE ON MARS.

        REPENT NOW FOR JUDGMENT DAY IS AT HAND!!!!!

        March 12, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
    • jimK

      A logical, well thought out comment. Clearly you have been highly educated and are a thoughtful and wise individual. Comments like this, though, make me wonder if there is *intelligent* life on our very own planet Earth.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
    • ET

      Your god does not exist. He is a figment of your dull imagination. Also, all caps won't make people believe your insanity.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
      • jesusrules

        HE EXISTS AND IS REAL AND I HAVE PERSONALLY SPOKEN WITH HIM BECUASE I HAVE A RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11

        I am here to WARN you that if you do not get down on your KNEES rigth NOW you are going to BURN FOREVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        HE IS REAL AS REAL CAN BE AND I HAVE SEEN HIM WITH MY OWN EYES AND THIS IS A FACT!!!!!!!!

        March 12, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
    • Boohincus

      Sounds like you're off your meds again. Someone, please call a psychiatrist. Fast!

      March 12, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
    • Craziesbtripin

      Troll or just ignorant? If those really are your beliefs, keep them to yourself please.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
      • SteveOfTx

        Does this question really need to be asked? Although it does appear that the fishing is rather fine in these waters ...

        March 12, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
    • Carrie

      This leads to the possibility of actual life on other planets. What are you going to say when we find actual life on another planet outside our solar system? It wouldn't shake my belief in God.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
      • lm84

        I agree. I am hardly boastful enough to believe that God told us ALL His secrets. The existance of other worlds, other life forms, encourages my faith, not shake it. If he can make this world in seven days (allegorically), then what just think what he accomplished in eons?

        March 12, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
    • Wallace

      I smell a troll.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
    • Reasonably

      Please don't vote, breed or adopt.

      - The rest of humanity

      March 12, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
    • Random Thoughts

      Jesus isn't "God" – that's why he told his disciples just before he ascended "I go to my father and your father and to MY God and YUUR God" (Jn 20:17)

      March 12, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
      • Wallace

        And as he ascended, he said, "Peter, I can see your house from here!"

        .

        March 12, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
      • T. Lee

        Which does nothing to invalidate @Random Thoughts statement @Wallace.

        March 12, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
      • Steve

        Why did Jesus ascend? Why not just slowly dematerialize or descend? Oh wait, that is right, his father is on his throne above the firmament in between the two waters (that is why the blue sky is blue!). The father will have to open the windows to let jesus through (or will he have to open his own window?...argh).

        March 12, 2013 at 6:00 pm |
    • AL

      So you saying Jesus can't possibly be green? You saying the son of god can't make himself look any way that he wants? So you are saying two things 1) you are racist against green people and 2) think the son of god (and by very definition of offspring, god) is powerless. I see now. Satan is calling you. He is proud.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
    • Chris

      what about all the thousands of other religions and the ones that existed before jesus was born...you idiot. imagine if the egyptians saw your comments...or romans...or me...we'd all just shake our heads...Life on mars will be found very soon...and it has NOTHING to do with jesus...how does that even find it's way into this topic?

      March 12, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
      • jesusrules

        ALL THE OTHER RELIGIONS ARE FALSE AND ALL THE OTHER GODS ARE FALSE FAKE AND PHONEY BALONEY!!!!

        There is one ONE GOD and that is JESUS

        ANYONE FROM THE OTHER RELIGIONS INCLUDING MUSLIM, HINDUISM, EGYPTIONISM, GREEK GODS OR ANY PAGAN GODS OR ANY OTHER RELIGION ARE ALL GOING TO BURN IN THE PIT OF FIRE WHERE THERE WILL BE WEEPING AND NASHING OF TEETH FOR ALL ETERNITY SO THEY BETTER REPENT RIGHT NOW

        I KNOW IT IS NOT POLITICALLY CORRECT TO SAY THIS ABOUT OTHER RELIGIONS BUT I DO THIS TO SAVE THEM AS THEY WILL ALL BURN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        THIS IS A FACT!!!!!!!!!

        March 12, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
      • Chris

        i think jesusrules is just joking now...you got me at first...good stuff.

        March 12, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
    • steve in texas

      Spellcheck is the devils work.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
    • paul

      And do tell. Why couldn't God have created other life?

      March 12, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
    • Reasonably

      Can't wait for first contact and have the religious nuts switch over to worshiping Klatu or whoever shows up.

      Sigh.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
    • paul

      I don't doubt there is a God. But I also don't doubt there is other life in the universe

      March 12, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
    • mdc117

      do you really take yourself seriously? you need help.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
    • Carrie

      P.S. You do not speak for all Christians. Real Christians aren't as hateful as you are, and they can believe in Jesus and what scientists find on Mars at the same time.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
    • Steve

      I am hopeful that they will inevitably find all the animals that have disappeared through the 5 massive extinctions (excluding Noah's ark as those people, infants and animals were really really bad) that have taken place in the earth's 4.5 billion year history. I mean god could not have changed his mind and killed them right? He is all good so they must be somewhere. Hmm, wait maybe super baddy Satan manipulated all the evidence to make is seem like God does not exist. That must be it. praise jebus!

      March 12, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
      • jesusrules

        O.K. all this Devil talk did get me upset but I will not type all caps as that makes people mad. but the FACT is that the earth is 6000 years old. It is a LIE that the earth is billions of years old. A lie. If you believe that lie you will Burn. The earth is 6000 years old and all the mountains and things like the grand canyon were made by the flood. Dinosaures were not on the arc so they all died but they were around at the same time in the pre flood days as man.

        these are all facts and if you dont believe them your soul is lost!!!!!!!

        you better get down on your KNEES and REPENT!

        March 12, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
      • Tommy

        Why does Jesus always want me on my knees, seems kind of gay?

        March 12, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
    • Johnny 5

      Jesus was just a man a possibly never even existed. Mars exists, we can see it and go there as well. This helps the credibility a bit.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
      • Anthony

        Personally I believe Jesus was just the worlds first wildly successful con-artist...who relished in free house stays, free food and wine, giggling under his breath as people washed his feet, and probably smelled of patchouli.

        March 12, 2013 at 6:12 pm |
    • MitchfromCANADA

      LOL dude if you are actually serious you are the most pathetic human being that has ever walked this Earth. I'm not the type of guy to get on my knees and pray for God when someone turns the corner with a knife and demands my money, no, I do what I've learned, grab his wrist, twist, and elbow elbow elbow, knee knee knee, 911 and he's arrested.

      I DO belive in God but you've got to be joking me with this garbage. Everything has been around for billions of years, wiht 0 evidence of some 'hiearchy' or 'supernatural force'. Open your eyes... Damnit some people are just so ignorant it makes me rattled.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
    • adopted USA

      Hey Mr. all caps, what are you doing here? Your buddies the Talibans are missing you dearly, please join them now, don't waist another minute!!!

      March 12, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
    • Owl96

      Life could mean plant life, not humanoid shape. That is still life. The Bible does not mention all types of life on Earth, so there is already more types of life than in the Bible. Life on Mars would in no way contradict the Scriptures.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
    • Illiteratti

      Oh, yes it is in the Bible. Right there in Genesis, where god creates light on the first day, and then creates the sun on the fourth day. I think there is some discussion about dinosaurs as well.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
    • Questions

      Funny Jesusrules, but it was people like you who turned me off of religion.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
  63. bsc1216

    Did you all notice in photo#17 there is a walmart??

    March 12, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
    • Wallace

      Yes, and it's overstocked with Mars Bars.

      .

      March 12, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
      • Carrie

        I'm falling off my chair laughing!

        March 12, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
  64. Reef

    Mars could have also hosted DEATH. Freaked out much?

    March 12, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
    • Wallace

      Now that's funny...

      ...very Jack Handy-ish.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
  65. Allie

    Wow you guys all sound super smart lol what a waste of 2.5 billion. Coulda put that toward our trillion dollar debt

    March 12, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
    • GC -> Major Tom

      You sound super dumb lol

      March 12, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
    • Greg

      The benefits to technology development from projects like this far outweigh throwing what essentially is pocket change at the national debt. Educate yourself.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
    • Chris

      talk about waste...what would that have accomplished? This stuff is actually interesting...

      March 12, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
    • Craziesbtripin

      Or cut those costs from useless wars and a budget bloated with personal agendas. But surely we should stop trying to make scientific progress and learn instead of addressing the true root of our countries problems.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
    • EMcK

      And by putting a 0.25% tax on all stock transactions we could pay for the debt, this mission and future debt with funds to spare in fairly short order (it would result in the neighborhood of $150b per year of additional revenue).

      March 12, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
    • Mr. Blue

      When you realize that debt is just made up and has been regularly wiped out and transferred throughout history, you begin to understand that productive uses of resources (such as scientific expeditions that help advance technology) is a much better use of "money" than paying off some arbitrary debt.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
  66. JMorcan

    This is absolute junk science. Life was never possible on Mars.

    March 12, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
    • bsc1216

      Sure there was, the jetsons lived there...lol

      March 12, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
    • ET

      How do you know?

      March 12, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
    • Wallace

      Don't tell me, Jesus said there was no life on Mars.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
  67. kipfmueller

    Martian oil!

    March 12, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
    • Mr. Blue

      Interplanetary pipeline!

      March 12, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
  68. GeorgeD

    If liquid water once flowed on Mars, then Mars used to orbit the sun in the liquid-water habitable zone where life could have existed long ago. Did Mars change its orbit?

    March 12, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
    • Alex

      Mars is still technically in the "habitable zone" as is Venus. They are just on the very outsides of it.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
    • Greg

      I believe the consensus of most scientists is that Mars lost a large portion of its atmosphere after its core cooled. Less atmosphere = more radiation and cooling temperatures.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
    • Wallace

      No, as I understand, Mars no longer has a molten core. Being smaller than Earth, its core cooled and no longer generated the magnetic field that is needed to deflect the incoming Solar radiation.

      Without that field, the solar wind stripped away Mars's atmosphere leaving behind only heavier gases, primarily CO2.

      The atmosphere could no longer hold water in its liquid form. Any water that comes to the surface most probably sublimates directly into gas.

      Also, Mars's low mass has a lower gravitational force and thus a lower surface escape velocity, so, faster lighter gas molecules have enough energy to reach escape velocity and fly off into space.

      Anyway, that's what I heard.

      .

      March 12, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
      • Chris

        wallace nailed it...BUT also everything is space is moving...all orbits are changing...

        March 12, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
    • isolate

      It didn't change its orbit, it lost its insulating atmosphere a long time ago. Over billions of years it also lost much of the heat of formation and gravitational collapse. The much larger and closer to the Sun planet we live on also had episodes where the oceans froze but we held onto our atmosphere because of our size and gravity. The last "snowball Earth" episode happened around 670 million years ago.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
  69. elandauCNN

    Are you excited about this news? Why or why not?

    -Elizabeth Landau, CNN

    March 12, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
    • Bill

      I'm always excited about Mars, but I would be even more excited to read a story from you that didn't have a comment section full of people arguing about God and politics.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
    • nixboox

      I am disappointed that both CNN and NASA think this IS news. "We have found evidence that life on Mars doesn't exist but could have if it wanted to..." This isn't news, it is a commercial. Obviously the people at NASA assume the lay-public are so ignorant about planetary science that they don't know about the Miller-Urey experiments which show, conclusively, that it is possible to get LOTS of elements that we find on earth in completely natural and organic ways but none of which are actually "life" or even proof of the possibility of life. The existence of a carbon atom or a water molecule is not indicative of something as complex as life.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
      • Bill

        I enjoyed the news and found this very exciting. I'm not a fan of sports, but there are plenty of times I get "breaking news" notifications because someone was traded on a team or something like that. What's up with so many complaints?

        March 12, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
    • JMorcan

      This barely qualifies as news. Mixing a diversity of elements with sun and water does not produce life. Even in the presence of water, Mars lacks many of the factors found on Earth necessary to support life. It is the height of vanity for any so-called scientist to conjure up these images of alien life, particularly when the evidence before is entirely dead.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
    • bspurloc

      excited? I think that is the wrong response you get from this. You get enlightenment. There has been a huge boom in the last what 20 years to our knowledge of the Universe. This news just adds to the enlightenment of that. These results were to be expected if you have been following along.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
    • bspurloc

      The only thing Mars lacks is an atmosphere. With an atmosphere it has liquid water on the surface. Mars HAD an atmosphere when its core was still molten. 4billion of years is a long time for life to have existed then vanished. Radiation slamming into mars for 2 billion years and plate tectonics during that time could easily hide past history. It is just pure lack of understanding to just nullify a 4 billion year old past from a few years of knowledge.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
  70. Phazon

    Everything was an avcident nothing controlling the making of things but somehow by chance this all turned up here on earth scientists and those that believe in evolution have great amounts of faith bacteria doesn't evolve it afapts just like a human can become immune to Malaria if their immune system fights it long enough.

    March 12, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
    • Dan

      You can keep your head in the sand and enjoy your mythology or joint the rest of us who can reason.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
    • Mr. Blue

      there is such a thing as punctuation ever heard of it maybe you should use it sometimes just suggestion

      March 12, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
    • Craziesbtripin

      We develop resistances due to our bodies ability to produce antibodies which fight a foreign body which we were exposed too. Bacteria do not have this ability, so you it is a completely invalid comparison.

      We produce antibiotics which target specific parts of bacterial cells. Bacteria become resistant to these antibiotics when errors made in the DNA of a new cell (during its creation) cause it to be different from the cell it was created from. Because of these differences the antibiotic can no longer target the say, cell wall or whatever it is going after.

      We know for a fact that this is what is taking place as we can see the exact changes in DNA structure.

      This is how evolution works. Mistakes or damage is done to the DNA of an organism while it is being created. Usually these mistakes change nothing or are harmful, but some times they are helpful. Thus good accidents = evolution.

      Organisms dont just mutate or spontaneously change into other things like the x-men or what so many critics ignorantly believe. It is a very simple concept. A mistake in DNA replication or damage to DNA causes a rabbit to not produce pigment in its hair making a white rabit. If the rabbit happens to live in the snow then it is more likely to survive thanks to the mistake/damage (aka mutation). Tadaaaa evolution.

      Incredibly simple concept that we can see take place first hand. Misconceptions and people being to stubborn to learn how something really works = ignorance.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
  71. Terry Brookman

    Moon first then the asteroid belt. Build a mag-lev launcher on the moon plus a base then we can go anywhere in the system cheap and safe.

    March 12, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
  72. wizard2399

    even though Mars is 35 million miles farther from the sun than earth it most likely in its "early" days of the planet formation and cooling experienced a long period of earth like temperatures and may have had liquid water and the other elements for life to evolve. It may even had had an atmosphere conducive to supporting life as we know it. Who knows, we could be a life form descended from the Martian life forms., Rocks from Mars land here all the time and could have brought DNA with them. We need to go to Mars and nave a personal look-see at the geology and take deep-drilled soil samples to see what went on eons ago.

    March 12, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
    • nixboox

      Life didn't evolve there...so...it never had the conditions for life to evolve there. Get it?

      March 12, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
      • T. Lee

        You're both wrong – God just didn't go there.

        He had to wait to see how creating life on earth was going to turn out before either duplicating, correcting, or scrapping the whole "life" thing first.

        March 12, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
      • veggiedude

        There's a theory (called panspermia) that life did evolve on Mars, and a meteor planted that life here on Earth.

        March 12, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
      • tokencode

        They don't know whether there was ever life on mars but it looks promising. That is one of the main reason for this mission, to find out because no one knows...including you, get it?

        March 12, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
      • bspurloc

        no "god" had to wait to be written into the Earths history 2000 years ago to be present today.

        March 12, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
  73. nixboox

    The conditions for life never existed on Mars because life never existed on Mars. If you actually had the conditions of life on Mars then there would be life on Mars. This pseudo-science stuff that the 24hr news cycle keeps dumping on the lay-public needs to stop. It isn't "science" until it is peer-reviewed and journal-published.

    March 12, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
    • Truman

      You are ignorant.

      March 12, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
      • nixboox

        Don't project your inadequacies onto others.

        March 12, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
    • Berysax

      Your face is going to look hilarious when simple life on mars is actually found. Get it?

      March 12, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
      • nixboox

        Let me know when you find some.

        March 12, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
    • JasON

      Agreed, this is the same guy that has had huge media blunders in the very recent past including the announcement that they had an earth shattering announcement that was one for the history books a few months ago that turned out to be absolutely nothing.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
    • Jason

      I'm sure there are many people at NASA more educated than you who disagree.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
      • nixboox

        Fallacious appeal to authority is a fallacy...

        March 12, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
      • Chris

        Nix, why don't you support your own tenuous argument before calling people out for logical fallacies? Do you realize that an appeal to authority tends to be more admissible in argument when the authority in question is actually credible? "Life doesn't exist now, therefore life never existed," is not an enthymeme that has much strength on its own, so back it up or you're simply making an appeal to your own authority (whatever that is) while failing to see the irony in this.

        March 12, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
    • Ziggy Stardust

      Phucktard

      March 12, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
      • nixboox

        Oh stop...so your dreams of joining Star Fleet Command will have to stay dreams...pity.

        March 12, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
      • veggiedude

        What if they find Spiders from Mars?

        March 12, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
    • szerin

      That was an inane statement completely lacking any logic or scientific insight. Because life does not appear to exist there now does not mean that hundreds of millions of years ago, when the planet still had an active molten core and robust magnetic field, the conditions for life did not then exist. Please read at least a little about the subject before putting your foot even deeper into your throat.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
      • nixboox

        So you agree with me that life doesn't exist on Mars and the conditions for it to exist never existed there...thanks. And don't project your intellectual limitations onto others.

        March 12, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
      • Tommy

        No, that is not what he said at all.

        March 12, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
      • szerin

        Swing and a miss, nixboox. I am not at all sure how you completely missed what I was saying, but Tommy clearly got it.

        March 12, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
    • Hello22

      Evidence shows the building blocks of life exists on Mars, and that there was once water on Mars. It not a far stretch to suggest that there might have been life on Mars. Just because there isn't any detectable life now, doesn't mean there wasn't any before. Open your closed mind.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
      • nixboox

        A carbon atom or a water molecule doesn't count as "building block of life". There are entire clouds out in the vastness of space full of amino acids precursors – they don't count as building blocks either. You either have life or you don't...on Mars, you don't.

        March 12, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
    • Dan

      Keep living in your fantasy world.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
      • nixboox

        What? You mean Earth?

        March 12, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
    • Berysax

      Yes ill let you know. Ill google nixboox and see if your troll info pops up, so i can troll u, when the time comes. Your sole purpose, on this blog, is to put down anyone who is positive about the article. Funny part is, you call out others comments as false, when yours bear no facts or are callous opinions.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
      • nixboox

        Well, at least it is nice that you admit you're a troll. Why don't you get a different hobby? Good luck with that! No, really...because you're going to need it.

        March 12, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
    • szerin

      So by your reasoning, since the conditions for life on Earth did not exist in the early history of this planet, it is not possible for life to exist here now. Or in your case, no intelligent life.
      Folks this nixboox person has absolutely no clue how the conditions for life can change over the course of geological time.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
      • nixboox

        There's a joke in there somewhere about "intelligent life", but...seriously. Life exists on Earth now, the conditions for life to exist NOW do. They can be inferred to retroactively to have existed for a very long time, but at what point did this planet stop "having the conditions for life" and actually "have life"? That is the problem and the core of why the article about NASAs announcement is superfluous and pseudo-scientific. The condition for life doesn't exist on Mars because life doesn't exist on Mars. In the distant future when Earth is a burned cinder or snowball of ice and no life exists here, no one is going to look at this planet and say: "life could have survived on Earth" because it didn't.

        March 12, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
      • szerin

        So if at some future point, after the core of the Earth has cooled, the magnetic field has diminished, the atmosphere and liquid water have been stripped away and the planet no longer supports life. Would a visiting scientist from another solar system (theoretically) be incorrect if they concluded, based on surveys and analysis, that life once existed on Earth?

        March 12, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
    • Joe Schtucker

      Good post. Coulda', woulda', shoulda' is political, media, psuedo-scientific hype. Having fun with the public.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
    • szerin

      OK, I'm thinking that nixboox is pulling everyone's chains. Let me ask you this, nixboox. What is the origin of life?

      March 12, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
      • nixboox

        The origin of life is a complicated topic. If you think "Jesus" is the answer then I don't know what to tell you. Life originated on Earth because it had no choice but to do so. It didn't originate on the moon, even though the moon shares our orbit. It didn't arise on Venus even though Venus is the same size as Earth and has an atmosphere. It didn't arise on Mars even though Mars is nearly in the same orbit as Earth. Life didn't arise on Jupiter or Saturn or Neptune even though they contain organic molecules – not even on all the tiny planets we call "moons" around those planets even though Europa has more water than Earth...life arose on Earth because it had no other possible option but to do so – and in the billions of years it has existed here it was nearly made extinct a dozen times. What is the origin of life? Earth...

        March 12, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
      • szerin

        Actually, I was expecting you to say God. OK, so we are in agreement on the basics. There are very good reasons why life does not exist on the moon, Venus, Jupiter, etc. And yes, they contain simple molecules, but not the complex ones found on Earth. There is evidence that the basic building blocks of life can be spontaneously formed under the conditions thought to exist in the early history of the Earth (e.g. Miller-Urey). This does not mean life must exist in the presence of these compounds, merely that where conditions make it thermodynamically favorable for more complex molecules to assemble (e.g. early amino acids), and with enough time, the probability that a life form will emerge from the mix increases. Ignoring the term "conditions for life", what is there to preclude the possibility that life did not, in some form or another, exist on Mars at some point in the past. Also, if in the course of future exploration fossil evidence of life were found, would you continue to deny that life once existed on Mars?

        March 12, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
    • OrygunDuck

      Some evidence that the climate has changed over long periods of time.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
  74. kaviski

    It's quite easy to accept that Mars once had the ability to host organic life if you understand that Mars used to occupy Earth's orbit, the "sweet spot" for organic life in our solar system. Much like valence electrons traveling in their fixed orbits around the nuclei of atoms, planets can be bounced from one to another orbit. This has likely occurred more than once in the long, long history of our solar system and galaxy.

    March 12, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
    • nixboox

      Obviously false – the Moon shares this "sweet-spot" and no life evolved there either.

      March 12, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
      • Truman

        So true. You're in the sweet spot and you have no life.

        March 12, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
      • Berysax

        Actually we havnt studied it enough. Permant ice has been found in shadowed regions. I dont know if there anything there, and neither do you. Until full investigations/explorations have been conducted, all your replies are hypothesis.

        March 12, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
      • Hello22

        You realize that it is because the Moon does not contain an atmosphere, and the the temperature fluctuations are too great to support life right? Did you skip all your science classes throughout elementary/high school?

        March 12, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
      • szerin

        Awesome – that was actually quite funny.

        March 12, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
      • kaviski

        The moon has a cold center, being formed from stuff that was part of the Earth originally. No volcanic activity, no carbon churning, thus the organic building blocks don't get formed. No atmosphere creation, no gamma ray protection. The moon is a very different geology than the Earth, although it shares our "ripe for life" orbit.

        March 12, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
    • isolate

      The only person who hypothesized about planets jumping orbits was Immanuel Velikovsky, and his works are today categorized under science fiction. The quantum mechanical forces that apply to electron orbitals cannot be extrapolated into the macro universe. For one thing, where would the necessary energy come from? Not even Velikovsky had an answer to that one.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
      • nixboox

        Gravity doesn't work like that. The only way you can make a planet change its orbit is either to increase the gravity of the planet, the gravity of the planet's star(s) or have a significantly large stellar object moving in tandem with the solar system – like a rogue star, planet or black hole. Electrons change orbits because of their energetic nature – planets don't have a similar condition.

        March 12, 2013 at 4:59 pm |
  75. palintwit

    Among Curiosity's findings were the remains of an ancient Chick-fil-A along with those of a trailer park, assault weapons and a nascar track. Proof positive that Mars was once inhabited by a race of tea party patriots.

    March 12, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
    • palintwit

      BTW, does anybody know what to do about genital warts? I have some now and I'm really starting to get scared. :-(

      March 12, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
      • palintwit

        fake palintwit ^ Have your mother nibble on them.

        March 12, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
      • palintwit

        Why must you insist on stealing my screen name? I open up to the fact that I have genital warts and you ridicule me? Stop posting things in MY name!!! ENOUGH ALREADY!!!

        March 12, 2013 at 5:14 pm |
      • palintwit

        Everybody knows who the real palintwit is. Your writing style and content give you away as the fake. And you can't help that. You're just not a good mimic. Although I am flattered.

        March 12, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
      • palintwit

        Please disregard the ramblings from the fake twit nitwit. Everybody knows my style, and they love my comments. You on the other hand are sloppy seconds. Now, that I have cleared that up... Does anybody know what to do about @nal leakage?

        March 12, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
  76. Buck Rogers

    Obviously, NASA had turned up the astro-evolutionary 'duping dial' to HIGH....

    http://www.fountainsofthegreatdeep.com/Mars.htm

    March 12, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
    • scaredofpandas

      Awww... That's cute!

      March 12, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
      • Buck Rogers

        Thanks.... Since NASA and the CCCP planned, coordinated and 'acted out' the "space race" after they figured out that hypersonic reentry is impossible due to temperatures "ten times hotter than the sun", NASA opened up a cute hair salon in Baikonur....

        http://www.fountainsofthegreatdeep.com/baikonur.htm

        March 12, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
  77. Brad

    how bout we stop the space explaration already and that would get rid of our national deficit.

    March 12, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
    • lolwut

      Inorite? All this so-called "Mars" stuff is just liberal propaganda! If Jesus wanted us to know what was on Mars, he would have told us when he wrote the Bible!

      March 12, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
      • Truman

        There's nothing past the sky. Space exploration is a hoax cooked up by the liberal Hollywood atheists.

        March 12, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
      • Thomas

        You do realize that Jesus didn't write the bible? it's not an autobiography!

        March 12, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
    • nixboox

      I know math is hard – you don't spend enough on ANY sort of NASA endeavor to make a dent in the National Debt. That would be like choosing to stop buying toothpaste because you want to pay down your house payment.

      March 12, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
      • nixbooxsux

        You are so awesome. I bet you have a lot of friends.

        March 12, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
    • Max

      how about you find a job and stop using welfare.

      March 12, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
    • alan s

      Brad: Ending space exploration wouldn't do much to reduce our national deficit or debt. All the money we spend on space exploration is spent on Earth, most of it in the U.S., on technicians and scientists and electricians and the like. Those people take their paychecks and buy houses and cars and groceries and clothes, which provides income and jobs for other people. I sympathize with your sentiment, but the problem is more complex than your post acknowledges.

      March 12, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
    • bv

      2.6billion NASA vs. 14 trillion Defense against wars we practically start. but youre right searching for the meaning of life is pointless we should just bomb other countries

      March 12, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
      • Jim

        Much more fun to search for the best ways to end life than to search for its origins!

        March 12, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
    • Dave

      Another low information voter. NASA's budget is like .05% of our total budget... A simple goggle check will verify this... hardly a drop in the bucket.

      March 12, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
      • Stel

        It is exactly that- a drop in the bucket. It is a half of one percent , in other words for every dollar spent by the fed, a half of one penny is spent on NASA. Look at the chart at the bottom of nasacost .com for illustration. We throw out 5x more edible food than NASA's budget (researchamerica . org) !

        March 12, 2013 at 9:19 pm |
    • Brad is dumb

      The national deficit is nearly $1 TRILLION PER YEAR and growing. NASA's budget last year was around $18 billion. Cutting NASA wouldn't even erase 1/3 of the annual deficit let alone our existing national debt. But don't let actual numbers influence your moronic conservative beliefs that we can eliminate the debt through cuts alone.

      March 12, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
      • Alex

        Dude, a billion is 0.001% of a trillion. Nasa is very cost effective. It does a lot more good than our trillion dollar military...

        March 12, 2013 at 9:11 pm |
    • The Social Preacher

      No kidding. NASA's $18 billion all-operation budget last year destroyed the country. If only we had that $18 billion back, we could have added another $750 billion in tax breaks to GE instead.

      March 12, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
      • isolate

        Hey, that $18 billion would have paid for a month and a half of Bush's war on Iraq in 2008. You have to keep things in perspective.

        March 12, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
    • Jason

      2.5 billion is going to get rid of 16 trillion of debt. Shut up moron. You obviously have no concept of cost vs benefit.

      March 12, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
    • Seriously?

      NASA's budget makes up for less than one percent of the entire federal budget. Eliminating NASA would do nothing but further show American decline in math, science, and creativity.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
    • Matt

      true, it's not like human redundancy is the single most important feat man needs to accomplish. we have wars to fight and tax exempt religious corporations to support.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
    • Ziggy Stardust

      How about we be a dumb backwoods hick like you. Who needs science anyway?

      March 12, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
    • Dan

      Yeah. Learning something would be really bad.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
    • veggiedude

      How about stopping the billions we give to both Israel and Egypt each year? Its a whole lot more than NASA's budget.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
    • michael

      Our entire space budget... for EVERYTHING we do in space, salaries, research, equipment, property, EVERYTHING...

      ... is 1/14th of 1% of our total yearly national budget.

      Look up "Neil deGrasse Tyson – We Stopped Dreaming"

      March 12, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
  78. Nik

    Wait so how does this oppress women?

    What? CNN actually has a real news article today? Sweet!

    March 12, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
    • Jim

      This just in: there was life on Mars once, but it oppressed women so the Legion of Intergalactic Feminists annihilated all the men and took the women away to Femzon, the feminist home planet. CNN is just trying to keep it from happening here, why can't you see that??

      March 12, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
  79. jamie

    Cool! Mars could have supported life! What great implications this has for us here! Now excuse me while I go work my 3 jobs to be able to pay my rent

    March 12, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
    • lolwut

      Ok...good luck with that!

      March 12, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
    • Just a guy

      You might want to look into getting a cheaper place to live...or a cheaper city to live in. I hear Mars might have some land available.

      March 12, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
    • HHM

      If you're so busy, why are you online posting a comment and reading a newstory that is not important to you? A busy man wouldn't have time. Also, go relocate into a cheaper city/state, and cut back on your expenditures.

      March 12, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
    • SAM

      You live in a mansion!!

      March 12, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
    • Dan

      You should have paid attention in school.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
    • veggiedude

      Why complain for the few pennies our taxes give to NASA each year when there are tons of other things to complain about? Have you seen the cost of a movie ticket these days?

      March 12, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
  80. sparky

    This sounds more like confirmation of what they already knew: Mars was a much nicer place before it lost its magnetic field, after which the sun ripped off its atmosphere.

    March 12, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
  81. palintwit

    Imagine my surprise when I learned that Sarah Palin University is second only to Princeton and M.I.T. in the field of astro-physics.

    March 12, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
    • palintwit

      Not the real palintwit ^

      March 12, 2013 at 4:59 pm |
      • palintwit

        That's not the real palintwit ^ And please stop using my name toad-boy !

        March 12, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
  82. Daniel

    Why do I here the ALF theme in my head?

    March 12, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
  83. bannister

    Is it possible that Earthlings CAME from Mars? Perhaps we escaped the dying planet and made Earth our new home. Perhaps we had ancient civilizations on Earth (like Atlantis) which are now long forgotten due to a catastrophic event. Interesting!

    March 12, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
    • Skully

      you have a very active imagination my friend, lol.

      March 12, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
    • Berysax

      Theres actually a really cool anime movie about that story. Its called E.Y.E.S. of Mars.

      March 12, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
    • onlyhuman

      Then the question becomes, did we do that to Mars?

      March 12, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
      • Berysax

        Lol good one. :)

        March 12, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
      • Jim

        And here we are again, making the same global warming mistakes that will lead the Earth to become what Mars is today. Look upon your future humans! Look and weep while you drive your cars!

        I gotta tell ya, I get the allure now. Being over-dramatic is fun.

        March 12, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
    • Dan

      No

      March 12, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
      • veggiedude

        As micro-organism's hitchhiking a ride on a meteor, yes.

        March 12, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
    • isolate

      The only problem, as with so many other beliefs, is utter and complete lack of proof. "Atlantis," obscurely referred to in Plato, was created out of the imagination of Ignatius L Donnelly in his 1882 book, "Atlantis: the antediluvian world." As the owner of a pawn shop Mr Donnelly was fully qualified to write about marine archaeology. Without Mr Donnelly Atlantis would have remained the province of scholars of ancient Greece. All books printed since depend on Donnelly for their "references."

      March 12, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
  84. Norm

    I think we destroyed Mars and came here here to Earth.
    Where will we go when we're done destroying Earth?

    March 12, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
    • lolwut

      We're going to ur house

      March 12, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
      • Jim

        Well, I'm definitely getting the addition this year now.

        Hope you guys like pasta.

        March 12, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
    • bannister

      Looks like we were both thinking the same thing at the same time!

      March 12, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
    • reason

      heaven?

      March 12, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
  85. no u

    I hope all this Mars exploration doesn't distract NASA from its core mission of Muslim outreach

    March 12, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
    • Dan

      True. They need to stay focused on the big picture.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
    • mike124

      Brilliant – post of the century!

      March 12, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
  86. Four Two

    The scientific community never ceases to amaze me, they are so dead-set on claiming that they know all there is to know about a given subject, then all of a sudden something new pops up and they carry on like they knew it all along. Or, they reject anything which does not fit in with their own ideas and guesses, it's hilarious. "Great thinkers" are only human, and human knowledge is limited. So please, loosen your bow ties and accept the fact that scientific theory is just that, theory.....nothing more. It's funny and nauseating at the same time, not a bad accomplishment.

    March 12, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
    • lolwut

      You don't understand science or the scientific community very well, it seems.

      March 12, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
    • Just a guy

      The religious community makes me laugh. They think they know everything there is because a fairy tale book told them so. Don't question anything in the book. And don't think for yourself. All your answers are in this book.

      March 12, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
    • ialsoagree

      Said by someone over the internet, on a computer that possesses a microprocessor built by an automated machine in a clean room to a level of precision that only the most advanced microscopes would be able to distinguish variation in, and powered by a hydroelectric, oil, solar, or possibly even nuclear power plant using an electromagnetic field to generate an electric current powerful enough to send over hundreds of miles of copper wire that had to be carefully melted and shaped, and wrapped in an electrically non-coductive coating, and hung across power lines all the way to their house.

      Yeah, it's "just a theory" alright.

      March 12, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
      • chandra

        best of the best replies I have seen in a while.

        March 12, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
      • Jim

        Bazinga.

        March 12, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
      • grapeseed87

        For the Win!

        March 12, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
      • smileylich

        Wonderful response.

        March 12, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
    • jokiebird

      You don't realize what the word "theory" means when it's applied to science.

      March 12, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
    • JKR1979

      Actually, scientists have been saying for DECADES that there could have been life on Mars. If it wasn't a plausible assumption they wouldn't have spent billions to research it.

      March 12, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
    • Max

      well, stop using PC. After all, my dear ignorant dude, semiconductors are the product of science.

      March 12, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
    • Ziggy Stardust

      Does it physically hurt to be this dumb? I'd like to know.

      March 12, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
    • Matt

      scientific theories are not guesses. if there were a hierarchy they would be above laws (laws describe things, theories explain them)

      science does not claim to explain everything. not sure where you get that from. we may never know it all, and thats okay. we dont need to make up magical sky wizards to fill in the blanks

      March 12, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
    • Dan

      You are confusing scientific facts with religious nonsense.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
    • veggiedude

      Scientific theory is based on observation and has to be backed up by more observation. In other words, its a never ending search for truth.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
    • isolate

      All you're doing is demonstrating your abysmal ignorance of scientific method. Science can never, and will never claim to know everything about a subject. As a matter of fact every scientific question answered becomes the basis for more questions. Any law, theory or hypothesis is open to challenge. Science freely admits there are contradictions and complete puzzles out there to be solved. Slowly, over centuries, many have been.

      Any new hypotheses has to be backed by rigorous proofs, then published in a peer-reviewed journal so it can be attacked from all sides. If it sustains all attacks, if its claims are tested over and over, falsified, used to make predictions which prove to be accurate, it may be grudgingly accepted by the scientific community. Plate tectonics, for one example, was first posited in 1912. It was universally dismissed by experts in the field. It wasn't until the 1970s that sufficient evidence had been gathered to (grudgingly) accept it as a proven theory. Tomorrow new evidence may come along to invalidate the theory of plate tectonics. Scientists will shrug and start examining the new evidence. That's how it works.

      There's a saying I enjoy quoting in forums like these:
      Science has questions which may never be answered;
      Religion has answers that may never be questioned.

      March 12, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
  87. Mainscribe

    Personally, I think NASA has probably done more for people than anyone could imagine...Too bad the gov't is so inept or we'd have a thriving Space economy...

    March 12, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
  88. Unknown

    So im just a kid reading comments cause im bored and this what I see, adults (I think) acting like 5 year olds. (No offense to the people the weren't.

    March 12, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
    • urmomlol

      Hello, and welcome to the internet!

      March 12, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
      • Jim

        Classic!

        March 12, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
      • dothan

        Best response ever.

        March 12, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
  89. lolwut

    Quaaaaaaid...start the reactor...

    March 12, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
    • Matt

      Haha actually made my girl watch this last night. Surprisingly she sat through the whole film :D

      March 12, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
  90. Wilson

    So, Edgar Rice Burroughs had it right.

    March 12, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
  91. I AM

    Those ingredients would make a good explosion in the right proportions.

    March 12, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
  92. Moze

    Preparing us slowly, a little info at a time, for disclosure.

    March 12, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
    • AJ

      My thinking exactly!

      March 12, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
    • J

      Hah, the way the media explodes if any report ever mentions the words "life" and "discovery"? All it would take is one leak.

      Besides, NASA is all science nerds now, and if they actually discovered something like life, I imagine they'd be dancing in the streets about it immediately.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
  93. Steve Hawking

    Bear in mind, too, that at any given moment, Mars is on average about 280 times farther away from Earth than the Moon. Assuming you could even use the same vehicle, you think the fuel costs to go from, say California to New York would be roughly the same as the fuel costs of taking that same trip 280 times?

    March 12, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
    • Alex

      Well not really the same because of the nature of air resistance vs interplanetary travel. The majority of the fuel is used just to get the ship out of Earths orbit so chances are it wouldn't be 280 times as much to go to mars. I'd still imagine you'd need a good bit more though.

      March 12, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
    • xirume

      Space vehicles only fire their engines to get in and out of planets and achieve travel velocity. Once that's done, zero gravity (therefore zero drag) make the rest of the trip is fuel free. How do you think the Voyager spacecraft have manged to reach the edge of the solar system?

      March 12, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
    • Rochester

      Not the same thing. Traveling on the planet (or through the air) requires constant energy to overcome friction. The spaceship will get up to speed and then coast the vast majority of the way there.

      March 12, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
    • Doug Shaughnessy

      It's not a fuel free trip once you break out of the Earth's gravity well, but it does take less energy to get from Earth orbit to Mars than it does to get from Earth's surface to Earth orbit. Say you refueled once in orbit, you could get to Mars in the same ship. Getting back, and making sure you have enough supplies to survive the trip is somebody else's department.

      March 12, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
  94. Science

    @Truther
    At the shortest distance earth and mars can be apart from each other, about 225 million km, it takes a radio wave 12.5 minutes to trave one way from earth to mars. It makes perfect sense that is is harder to do things remotely at that distance than with people driving.

    March 12, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
  95. Yo

    Yes, and then the Green House effect happened people! Hello! Get a clue and look what's happening around you!

    March 12, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
    • paullubbock

      I'm a proponent of keeping our carbon footprint to a minimum but greenhouse effect is not what destroyed the Mars atmosphere. Venus yes, mars no. I believe the problem was if I recall is that unlike earth, Mars does not have a strong magnetic field because its internal engine has basically cooled down and stopped. No magnetic shield and the atmosphere gets blown away by the suns radiation and eventually disappears along with all its evaporated water.

      March 12, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
      • Brando

        The lack of magnetic field only means that it will be hard for life to live there because there isn't much protection against solar radiation. It's far enough away from the sun that it could have supported life, but humans wouldn't really enjoy the sunlight there even if it's dimmer.

        Most of the water didn't evaporate from Mars' surface but it actually went underground or ended up frozen. The thin gas atmosphere lowers the freezing point of water making it difficult for the planet to get warm enough to have liquid water.

        We know there was liquid water on mars in the past and suspect that there could be liquid water underground closer to geothermal sources. The rest of the water is frozen and/or deep under the surface.

        March 12, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
    • ialsoagree

      Actually, not correct.

      If Mars had a thick atmosphere, it was most likely stripped away due to a weakening magnetic field and the bombardment of particles in the "solar wind" stripping away atmospheric gases. In fact, having green house emissions would have helped prevent Mars from losing such an atmosphere – assuming the emissions could out pace the stripping of the atmosphere. But even that would only last so long, as eventually all the emitted gases would be stripped away too, and you'd be left with nothing to emit.

      March 12, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
    • Lizrod

      Darn them martians with their cars. If only Al Gore was there to save them.

      March 12, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
    • Sly Cooper

      If only Mars had more Greenhouse gases it would be able to sustain warmer temperatures and the ice wouldn't be ice. Instead, there is nothing keeping the heat in because the greenhouse gas layer is so thin and you get those 70 degree days on the equator but at night turns to -100. Or maybe if it had a large moon. It's gravitational force could help cause friction on mars creating some heat as well and maybe the core wouldn't have died out so quickly.

      March 12, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
  96. Seth Hill

    We could probably get humans to Mars relatively easily, but because Mars has much stronger gravity than our Moon, it would be extremely difficult to get them back. I wonder ... would anyone volunteer for a one-way trip?

    March 12, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
    • Yo

      If I was 90. Sure why not?

      March 12, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
    • jack

      nobody cares.. stfu loser

      March 12, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
    • ialsoagree

      You could utilize a slingshot technique to get Mars gravity to help you get back to Earth. The problem with that is that you'll only get a limited view of the planet from space. No opportunity to touch down.

      But there's concerns beyond just getting back from Mars including: slowing down when you get back to Earth, surviving the trip to Mars (and not just needing food, water, and oxygen, but also staying safe from the solar hazards you'll experience along the way).

      March 12, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
    • Erica

      Yes, we can send my ex hubby!!!!

      March 12, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
    • Brando

      I think the 'popular' return path plan is to send a solar or geo thermal hydrogen "plant" to the surface of mars a few years in advance. There it would sit filling tanks with enough hydrogen gas for the exit. The liquid oxygen would, of course need to be taken there from earth. The rest of the fuel for the return trip would be left in orbit.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
      • Brando

        Whoops, sorry I looked it up. The oxygen could also be separated from the mars atmosphere on site since most of the air on Mars is CO2.

        March 12, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
  97. Alex

    @Truther – the Apollo LUNAR Module could be less advanced than the Curiosity Rover because one, the moon has no atmosphere, and two, the moon has less gravity. When the rover slammed into Mars' atmosphere, a plasma shell enveloped the lander due to the friction of flying through the atmosphere at high speeds – that plasma made radio transmission impossible for an amount of time, i.e. – terror.

    To ensure that the lander made it onto Mars in one piece it needed more advanced equipment therefore the statement you quoted makes perfect sense.

    March 12, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
  98. Joseph Schtucker

    NASA – Need Another Serious Achievement

    March 12, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
    • Pliny

      I'm sure you have a shelf filled with Nobel Prizes at home.

      Grow up and DO SOMETHING besides trying to tear down the work of people who are CLEARLY your intellectual superiors!

      March 12, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
    • Jinkl

      It's a shame scientifically illiterate people such as yourself don't know the real value of NASA.

      March 12, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
      • William

        To be fair, he is actually right. NASA is in deep trouble right now as they don't have any serious goals. They are spending too much money in very inefficient ways. The government needs to revamp NASA and start supporting the private space industry. And just as a note, I work in this industry and I live 4 minutes away from JSC.

        March 12, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
    • Todd

      I'll just leave this here...
      http://dsc.discovery.com/tv-shows/curiosity/topics/ten-nasa-inventions.htm

      March 12, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
    • JoeSchtucker

      Thanks William, I think you got my point. It isn't the valuable contribution I question. It is this highly ambiguous speculation about loose observations that is irksome. Keep science as science. Leave the politicians and media to their smoke and mirrors.

      March 12, 2013 at 7:20 pm |
  99. CAL USA

    Yes, but Mars has significantly more gravitational pull than the Moon. The Apollo-style landing, with retro rockets, would require much larger rockets (and therefore significantly more weight to carry there). This is why we have highly trained experts doing this kind of stuff and not a bunch of amateurs like you and me.

    March 12, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
  100. Truther

    The 2-ton rover landed on Mars on August 6 in a series of acrobatic maneuvers dubbed the “seven minutes of terror.” The mission comes with a price tag of $2.5 billion.

    This statement doesn't make any sense. The Apollo landing module accomplished this easily in the 1960's using equipment made from tin foil and scotch tape.

    March 12, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
    • j

      cool story bro

      March 12, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
    • Brian S.

      Landing on the moon, and landing an SUV sized rover on Mars are two different things.

      March 12, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
    • Mason

      There is a slight difference between an automated landing of a 2-ton module in a thin atmosphere at .37g and the manual landing of a 16-ton LEM in no atmosphere at .17 g.

      Educate thyself.

      March 12, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
    • -

      moon = zero atmosphere, we almost landed "any where", power supply non-nuke

      mars = aero bracking + precise thrusters controls for sky-crane...which is necc. for decelerating 2 ton rover and for guiding it to specific landing site..and also this rover carries a nuke generator

      March 12, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
    • Sunil

      Wow, you must be an astrophysicist. Aren't you?

      No?

      Ah that's why it doesn't make sense to you. I think I'll take NASA's word over you anytime.

      March 12, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
    • Pliny

      "tin foil and scotch tape".....sounds like your hat.

      March 12, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
    • Science

      At the shortest distance earth and mars can be apart from each other, about 225 million km, it takes a radio wave 12.5 minutes to trave one way from earth to mars. It makes perfect sense that is is harder to do things remotely at that distance than with people driving.

      March 12, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
    • Davd Lege

      Landing on the moon was one of the most amazing feats of piloting a spacecraft ever , probably the most- and the astronauts who did it showed heroism and tremendous skill.
      Building and programming a robot to autonomously land on a planet 7 minutes away at the speed of light is a completely different proposition. The engineers and scientists who orchestrated this certainly would have experianced 'terror' at the time of the landing ,being completely powerless to affect the outcome. A mistaken calculation that was done years previously could have doomed the landing, as could a million other things.

      March 12, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
    • xirume

      Geez dude, learn something or at least try to muster the minimum capacity to attempt a little research.

      March 12, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
    • Doctorstrangeluv

      Yeh sure, the lunar modules were nothing more than foil and scotch tape. The 12 lunar modules that were delivered to NASA between 1969 and 1972 cost roughly 2 billion dollars, with the entire Apollo program costing 23.9 Billion dollars, and that was in 1969 dollars. So what exactly is your uneducated comparison? The latest Mars rover is peanuts in cost compared to Apollo

      March 12, 2013 at 9:46 pm |
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