Friday, June 27, 2008


Lost in the delight over the news of Heller today, the gang of happy boffins running the Phoenix probe on Mars were smiling even broader when tests showed the soil could support life. Oh, you'd have to bring a bushel back here to grow asparagus in it but it is a bigger deal than you might think.

"So what," you might say, "dirt's dirt!"
Which it sort of is, except when it's not: for quite some time now, the best guess was that Martian soil was loaded with superoxides, more alkaline than household bleach. It would not be farmin' material.

So today's news changes the possibilities. Life on Mars just became a little more possible.


Anonymous said...

Always thought NASA should put some wheat seeds and algae sporse on those bots why not plant a little something for the colonists?

Rob K said...

Cause then you won't know if there are life forms there already.

Anonymous said...

Dominate the matians,imminent domaine, manifest destiny, Rah Rah

Turk Turon said...

Mars Needs Asparagus!

Home on the Range said...

Capture that creature and return my elunium pu36 explosive space modulator! - Marvin the Martian

Roberta X said...

"...You're making me very angry..." --Marvin

I dunno. If there is life on Mars, that just might whup up some interest in the place.

We're not all that far away from commercial tickets to orbit; since getting the freight and crew to Earth orbit is nearly half the total cost of going anywhere in the Solar System, we are almost in the "polar explorer" era of space travel, in which governments are not the only entities with deep enough pockets to play.

Go space bugs, go!

Anonymous said...

"Life. Don't talk to me about life."
Marvin the Paranoid Android

Turk Turon said...

"Hello, you th-th-th-thing from another world, you!"

Dr. StrangeGun said...

So according to all the data so far, the only thing required to grow plants on mars is pressure, heat, and water.

That sounds like a formula for an inflatable greenhouse to me.