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Fraser
2004-Mar-23, 10:05 PM
SUMMARY: NASA announced today that Opportunity has found evidence that the rocks around it were built up at the bottom of an ancient Martian salty ocean. The rover has found evidence of cross-bedding, where inclined layers of rocks are formed through sedimentation. Scientists aren't sure how long ago the sediments were created, so they're planning to send Opportunity to another outcropping of rock to make more observations. These kinds of rock formations are ideal for finding fossil evidence of past life; unfortunately, Opportunity's instruments aren't sensitive enough to see fossils if they're there.

What do you think about this story? Post your comments below.

Victoria
2004-Mar-24, 03:47 AM
Well upon contemplating the direct question of where sediments derive from i n an alien land...I would add rings of topography, currents and age :lol: .

Eric Vaxxine
2004-Mar-24, 11:51 AM
I love the way the whole 'discovery' of water process is falling into order. It's like a well written play. The discovery of life will probably be equally well orchestrated. :unsure:

Spacemad
2004-Mar-24, 02:16 PM
It was interesting to read about the announcement of an ancient sea found by Opportunity. It's just a shame that we'll have to wait for another decade (at the very least) before an expedition is planned that will bring back rocks that may contain vestiges of life that may have existed once upon a time on Mars.

Although NASA´s approach seems overly cautious & well "orchestrated" I think it is necessary as they do not want to "overexcite" the public imagination & at the same time they need to retain their reputation as a serious, scientific institution.

om@umr.edu
2004-Mar-24, 02:23 PM
Yes, Eric, it seems there's a headline each day. :D

I share your concerns. Many of us feel uncomfortable about mixing science with public relations (PR). In fact, PR seems to have played a major role in some of NASA's past "discoveries" in my area of research, e.g., superheavy elements discovered in meteorites, interstellar diamonds found in meteorites, etc. :angry:

Funding depends on public support - - - and thus on PR. But some segments of the population are now becoming skeptical of every NASA claim. <_<

Carefully orchestrated PR will backfire if it generates mistrust in the public. :P

With kind regards,

Oliver :D
http://www.umr.edu/~om

Eric Vaxxine
2004-Mar-24, 05:18 PM
I get the impression they know the ending &#33;
So they just drip feed us....I like sheep, but I don&#39;t like feeling like one.

Nick4
2004-Mar-27, 03:34 PM
Do you think we will send anothe rover up that has sensetive enough tools to detect fossals? :huh: