Berkeley CSUA MOTD:Entry 50758
Berkeley CSUA MOTD
2018/02/22 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular

2008/8/1-5 [Science/Space] UID:50758 Activity:nil
7/31    Confirmed: Water on Mars
        "Laboratory tests aboard NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander have identified
         water in a soil sample."
        \_ Further proof that God is hinting to us that we can and we should
           repopulate Mars and discourage gayness and provide freedom,
           liberty and the pursuit of happiness by giving guns to
           every single Martian Earthlings so that they can protect
           themselves from other Martians and that they are all
           entitled to live freely and lavishly in the Martian
           suburb of their choice and that free market should
           trump their lives e.g. by shopping at Martianmart.
        \_ They've been confirming or at least hinting at this for so long
           that I don't give a shit anymore.
           \_ You have been classified as: petty.
              \- you must pay me 5cents
                 \_ Fair use: parody. ok tnx
2018/02/22 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular

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Your browser or your browser's settings are not supported. To get the best experience possible, please download a compatible browser. If you know your browser is up to date, you should check to ensure that javascript is enabled. The lander's robotic arm delivered the sample Wednesday to an instrument that identifies vapors produced by the heating of samples. "We have water," said William Boynton of the University of Arizona, lead scientist for the Thermal and Evolved-Gas Analyzer, or TEGA. "We've seen evidence for this water ice before in observations by the Mars Odyssey orbiter and in disappearing chunks observed by Phoenix last month, but this is the first time Martian water has been touched and tasted." With enticing results so far and the spacecraft in good shape, NASA also announced operational funding for the mission will extend through Sept. The original prime mission of three months ends in late August. The mission extension adds five weeks to the 90 days of the prime mission. "Phoenix is healthy and the projections for solar power look good, so we want to take full advantage of having this resource in one of the most interesting locations on Mars," said Michael Meyer, chief scientist for the Mars Exploration Program at NASA Headquarters in Washington. The soil sample came from a trench approximately 2 inches deep. When the robotic arm first reached that depth, it hit a hard layer of frozen soil. Two attempts to deliver samples of icy soil on days when fresh material was exposed were foiled when the samples became stuck inside the scoop. Most of the material in Wednesday's sample had been exposed to the air for two days, letting some of the water in the sample vaporize away and making the soil easier to handle. "Mars is giving us some surprises," said Phoenix principal investigator Peter Smith of the University of Arizona. "We're excited because surprises are where discoveries come from. The ice-rich layers stick to the scoop when poised in the sun above the deck, different from what we expected from all the Mars simulation testing we've done. That has presented challenges for delivering samples, but we're finding ways to work with it and we're gathering lots of information to help us understand this soil." Since landing on May 25, Phoenix has been studying soil with a chemistry lab, TEGA, a microscope, a conductivity probe and cameras. Besides confirming the 2002 finding from orbit of water ice near the surface and deciphering the newly observed stickiness, the science team is trying to determine whether the water ice ever thaws enough to be available for biology and if carbon-containing chemicals and other raw materials for life are present. A Canadian instrument is using a laser beam to study dust and clouds overhead. "It's a 30-watt light bulb giving us a laser show on Mars," said Victoria Hipkin of the Canadian Space Agency. A full-circle, color panorama of Phoenix's surroundings also has been completed by the spacecraft. "The details and patterns we see in the ground show an ice-dominated terrain as far as the eye can see," said Mark Lemmon of Texas A&M University, lead scientist for Phoenix's Surface Stereo Imager camera. "They help us plan measurements we're making within reach of the robotic arm and interpret those measurements on a wider scale." International contributions come from the Canadian Space Agency;