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Why some think Mars Rover Curiosity might find life underground on Mars

In “Why Curiosity Needs to Dig Deep for Organic Molecules on Mars” (Wired,
July 13, 2012), planetary science grad student Jeffrey Marlow explains,

First, the bad news: Given the model’s assumptions, organic molecules would last a mere hundreds of millions of years in the shallow subsurface of Mars. As the paper notes, “that will pose a serious challenge for organic detection by [Curiosity] since its primary focus is to look for 3.5 billion-year-old organic biomarkers while only drilling 5 cm into the surface rock.”

There is some hope, however. Radiation may be a problem for organics on Mars, but other destructive forces common on Earth don’t play a role on the Red Planet. Slow rates of erosion, a negligible hydrologic cycle, and the lack of plate tectonics all would help preserve martian organics, so if Curiosity could get below the radiation kill zone, things would be looking up.

See also: NASA inundated by ideas for exploring Mars.

Carbon from Mars not biological, study says

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One Response to Why some think Mars Rover Curiosity might find life underground on Mars

  1. It’s important to note here that the Scientists, and the reporters, are being intentionally missing about what they’re actually discussing.

    In Chemistry, “organic” means “contains Carbon”, not “was formed by an organism”.

    As soon as the Scientists, and reporters, admit that there is no hope of these tests finding Little Green Men, absolutely no one, excepting a few exo-chemists whose income depends on such inconsequential research, is interested in ANYTHING about their ridiculously expensive toys. And shortly after that loss of interest, the tax-paying public begins to ask why NASA bought the expensive silly toys.

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