Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Curiosity's SAM Results.....

NASA has released the findings of the Martian rover Curiosity's S.A.M. lab.

Curiosity's lead scientist had promised something for the history books but according to Paul Mahaffy of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center:
  • "We have no definitive detection of Martian organics at this point, but we will keep looking in the diverse environments of Gale Crater,"
What Curiosity did find  was volcanic soil, small bits of volcanic glass, a few water molecules, 
oxygen and a possible chlorine compound. 


kallamis said...

I read this as well, and decided you'd be better at writing it up than me on this one. For one simple reason.
I don't believe them this time. Yes, they could be telling the truth, but I doubt it.
And if they are telling the truth, then they either purposefully, or accidentally, have started all kinds of conspiracy theories now.
This is not what NASA needs right now. They appear half lost and don't know which direction they are going in right now for starters.
We don't even have our own station anymore, yet there is a private station being built up there.
That's pretty bad when you are backed by a government, and the private sector is burying you.
I don't know, but I honestly don't believe that we heard the truth on this. And if we did, then they certainly have caused a ruckus where none needed to be, and it wouldn't have taken this long and that many tests just to reveal this that was already basically known.
Something just doesn't smell right in this to me, but that's me. I'm always looking at every possible playing angle.
NASA would make lousy duelists, let me tell you, if they would duel as they handle everything else now days. Of course, would also be the longest duel on record also, as they would have to go through 15 committees and get government approval I am sure just to play the first freaking card.
I will not go as far as saying that NASA is starting to disgust me, but they are getting smegging close to it.

Beam Me Up said...

that is why you will see the lag time for this article. I wanted to see what kind of stuff would rattle out and possible other articles. I kept this one short for the same reason. I think a lot of people are very disappointed. It is at the very least anticlimatic.

kallamis said...

What gets me, is that nothing they said would even actually classify as one for the history books.
And what they did say was pretty much expected anyway. I at least expected a theory maybe along the lines of Mars could one day support life, as it may be evolving that way now, or something. Anything.
Instead we are told history making, and then we get squat. Still doesn't sound right to me. But to be honest, my trust of a lot of things went sideways a long time ago. And things like this never help anyone's trust.
I am going to stand by what I said once before; for the moment at least. If something really would be found, would we be told about it?
As of now, I have to go with No, we wouldn't be told.
And what is bad, no way to even try and find the truth, because if there is another truth, the bloody thing is on another planet. Since this is supposed to be research for the entire planet, then why isn't there a permanent link to watch what is happening all the time.
National security my butt. It's another smegging planet. A lifeless planet, (they say). And only our stuff is there, so where is my permanent link to watch what the rover discovers like we all should be able to do with this.
Sometimes I think they stay awake at night, just looking for ways to piss the rest of us off to no end.

Beam Me Up said...

Just to play devil's advocate for a sec and say that you can not have a steady stream because Curiosity can only communicate while there is an orbiter in its sky.

kallamis said...

Oh crap. Okay, you got me. Should have said we should be seeing it at the same time that they see it. Whatever they are seeing there, we should be able to see it at the same time. They want people to get interested again, but then they act like total dolts.
I bet if we could see it at the same time, you'd have more people interested in it.

Beam Me Up said...

Don't get me wrong, hell I would love to have something like that, hell even the NASA channel. But I don't believe for a second that it would generate interest. Remember the last couple Apollo missions? I had the hardest time getting any data about those missions. Nothing in the paper, virtually noting on the evening news and cable dropped the NASA channel. They were bored! Can you believe that?

Dave Tackett said...

Sorry Sir Kall, but I think you are being a bit paranoid here.

Remember the reaction to the announcement that biogenic features were found in the Martian Meteorite ALH 84001, in which NASA claimed to have found fossils of bacteria-like lifeforms. Even though this is still a very heated issue, many, especially those in the undereducated press, consider this an embarrassment to NASA. Ever since then, NASA has been more than a little timid about making claims about evidence of Martian life.

I do think the initial "for the history books" statement was a bit too enthusiastic, but finding chlorine and carbon compounds in the soil does substantially raise the odds of past and/or present Martian life. However, the less emphasized carbon findings are less certain as they could be contaminants from Earth.

Two problems with the Curiosity conspiracy theories. First there is no motive. The discovery of life on Mars would mean more enthusiasm for space exploration and therefore more money for NASA and for the rest of the government.

Second, most of the data coming from Curiosity, and Opportunity for that matter, is not video which could be streamed, it is raw data that has to be interpreted by chemists, geologists, etc. It would be like looking at computer program, without knowing the programming language.

However, you might be interested in the Raw Images sent by Curiosity available here which aren't too far from being "real time"

Beam Me Up said...

hey, thanks for the link Dave! Great photos!