Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Mars: Analyzing Layers of History - 3

This is a series where I keep an eye on the developments happening on the planet Mars.

It involves watching the NASA video and sound conferences where NASA updates us with the latest events with the Curiosity Rover at Gale Crater.

Less often the events of the Opportunity Rover at Endeavour Crater are also very significant.

Some information has been let out indicating that the Curiosity Rover team is excited and bulging at the seams with a discovery at Gale Crater that will change the history books.

I think they will eventually find evidence of biotic evolution, microbial life signs on Mars, and I am suspicious that this discovery is that big:
Scientists working on NASA's six-wheeled rover on Mars have a problem. But it's a good problem.

They have some exciting new results from one of the rover's instruments. On the one hand, they'd like to tell everybody what they found, but on the other, they have to wait because they want to make sure their results are not just some fluke or error in their instrument.

It's a bind scientists frequently find themselves in, because by their nature, scientists like to share their results. At the same time, they're cautious because no one likes to make a big announcement and then have to say "never mind."


"This data is gonna be one for the history books."
(NPR, emphasis added). Once they are certain that whatever they found did not come from the Earth along with Curiosity, they will hold a news conference and let us know.

Some similar Mars posts: The Mystery of Science Friction, Weekend Rebel Science Excursion, Cosmic Rosetta Stones?, and Throw The Textbook Out.

UPDATE: The Curiosity team is playing down the expectations now.

The previous post in this series is here.

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