Mars

space science mars NASA Successfully Tested the Rocket Engine That Might Take Humans to Mars
Via: NASA
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According to NASA's article on the test, this is a big step toward sending a manned mission to Mars:

NASA successfully tested the first deep space RS-25 rocket engine for 500 seconds March 10, clearing a major milestone toward the next great era of space exploration. The next time rocket engine No. 2059 fires for that length of time, it will be carrying humans on their first deep-space mission in more than 45 years.

This is all part of a plan to send humans to Mars by 2030, which NASA has laid out in this beautifully illustrated image:

NASA Spirit Rover Is There Life On Mars?
Via: iflscience
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It's more than just a weird shadow this time, planetary geologist Steven Ruff and geobiologist Jack Farmer have seen something on Mars that could indicate life was there.  NASA's Spirit Rover took the above image in 2008. They say that the 'cauliflower-like' deposits of minerals seen in this picture could have been formed by microbes. 

The area this photo was taken on Mars is thought to have been a center for hot springs and geyser activity.  The same kind of mineral shapes have been found in Atacama desert in Chile.  



The Atacama desert is often compared to the conditions on Mars and even used as a practice area by NASA for the real thing. 

mars rover selfie This Image From Mars is the One Selfie You'll Really Want to See
Via: NASA
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The Mars Curiosity rover is no stranger to selfies. This is a composite of 57 images taken from the camera at the end of the rover's arm called the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI). It's on top of a sand dune called 'Namib Dune', taking samples of sand to study the composition of sand dunes on Mars and the way they behave in Mars' atmosphere. 

It even took a close up picture of the sand it's been scooping up. 



mice aliens image Alien of the Day: Is There Life on Mars?
Via: iflscience
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This image was found among several of the images taken by NASA's Mars Curiosity rover. The amateur astronomer on ArtAlienTV claims that this is a large rodent of about 2-3 feet in length. 

Watch the video for an enhanced view of the "mouse" as well as a few other anomalies, including a big rock that you can kind of see has a scary face if you look at the right angle. 



Is this evidence of life on Mars? There are some who want to believe, but NASA hasn't mentioned any Rodents of Unusual Size in their findings. 

For now, enjoy this artists rendering of the space mouse.

via allsp49

Rush Limbaugh thinks water on Mars is a
Via: huffpost
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"Being right and being alone is a challenging existence."

Most everyone was pretty excited, or at least mildly interested, in the announcement NASA made yesterday about the likely possibility that there's liquid water on Mars.

Not Rush Limbaugh, unfortunately.

He's got his own ideas about just what NASA is doing up there.



According to him:

I said 'look at the temperature data, that has been reported by NASA, has been made up, it's fraudulent for however many years, there isn't any warming, there hasn't been for 18.5 years. And yet, they're lying about it. They're just making up the amount of ice in the North and South Poles, they're making up the temperatures, they're lying and making up false charts and so forth. So what's to stop them from making up something that happened on Mars that will help advance their left-wing agenda on this planet?'



So there you have it. Finally, the truth.

New evidence points to liquid water on Mars.
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Well, Buzz Aldrin must be thirsty.

Though we've long known that Mars has ice, it was not yet strongly believed that liquid water could exist on the surface of the red planet. Well the newest evidence, released Sept. 28, points strongly to that possibility.

As reported by the New York Times:

In a paper published in the journal Nature Geoscience, Dr. McEwen and other scientists identified waterlogged molecules — salts of a type known as perchlorates — in readings from orbit.

"That's a direct detection of water in the form of hydration of salts," Dr. McEwen said. "There pretty much has to have been liquid water recently present to produce the hydrated salt."

Though young Mars was inundated by rivers, lakes and maybe even an ocean a few billion years ago, the modern moisture is modest. Scientists have long known that large amounts of water remain — but frozen solid in the polar ice caps. There have been fleeting hints of recent liquid water, like fresh-looking gullies, but none have proved convincing.



Liquid water on Mars has been theorized for a while, with many scientists pointing to dark streaks on the surface that would appear seasonally. This most recent evidence is validation for the theory that those streaks are rivers and streams of water.

So what does this mean?

Many things.

It might ease the burden when considering Martian colonization, helping to grow plants and and food on the surface. With that it could also mean possibly helping to oxidize the atmosphere, which is currently mostly made up of carbon dioxide.

And The Verge sees it as a promise for extraterrestrial life:

[T]hat strengthens the possibility of finding microbial life on the Red Planet. The presence of liquid water on Earth is intimately linked with the formation of life, so the odds are better than ever that extraterrestrial organisms are nearby in our Solar System.

This is mind-blowing, eye-popping news.

Stonehenge shaped collection of rocks found on Mars.
Via: Daily Mail
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Those who want to believe are going a little nuts over a grouping of large stones found on Mars, which looks suspiciously like Stonehenge.

Appropriately, its been given a portmanteau — Marshenge.



The Daily Mail has the story:

However, experts have in the past said such stone circles may form as a result of natural processes that also occur here on Earth.

For example, the freeze-thaw cycle of permafrost can cause sediment to churn and separate by grain size that can cause boulders or large rocks to produce stone circles or polygons on low slopes.

The stone circle was highlighted on the Facebook page of a group called Journey to the Surface of the Mars, which regularly pinpoints unusual 'alien' features.

The stone circle on Mars was spotted in images captured by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment, or HiRise, camera on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.



This is just one of the many weird Martian things that people have crazy theories about. Remember the facehugging crab monster?



Until the aliens use their stone communicator to conquer us, we'll just be rocking out to this:

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