The "water found on Mars" story is as perennial as Christmas. NASA doesn't need to tell us that again. So why not cut out the seemingly endless stream of robotic middlemen, and just send hardware that will search for life, big or small? Isn't it time to cut to the chase?
Is there life on Mars? Engineer and former Viking program team leader Gilbert Levin and microbiologist Steve McDaniel debate NASA Planetary Scientist Christopher McKay on that statement below.
As a nation, we must put politics aside to ensure that expanding the space frontier occupies a prominent place on our national agenda. We need strategic, adequately funded and aggressively paced programs to keep America at the summits of technical innovation and exploration.
The time to start planning the next large international space mission is now. That mission should be a human mission to Mars. Despite the troubling economic and budgetary times, there is clear support in the U.S. for human Mars exploration.
In these complex times, are Americans in favor of human exploration of the Mars? The answer is an unequivocal, "Yes." The optimism that we are frequently told is slipping away is still there. It is just waiting for us to start pushing against the boundaries of all that is possible.
Still wondering how we blasted an SUV-sized robot to Mars last year? Curious what the Curiosity rover is doing up there right now?
Don't embarrass the Earth in front of guests. Remember that party when you and the Earth were on the same Pictionary team and you called the Earth stupid because he couldn't get the word "sorrow"? That's a tough Pictionary word, give the Earth a break.
Continued testing and updates of mission plans continue to assure that the Curiosity rover's drill will operate as planned, when needed, for the primary mission and beyond. Now let's go drill some rocks and get on with the exploration of Mars!
Until we understand our climate problems, and until we've developed solutions to deal with them, I'm not especially curious about Mars. "Danger, Will Robinson, danger!" With so much climatic uncertainty and so much at stake here at home, we can't afford to get lost in space.
Although Curiosity is not designed to verify life, we are left to wonder -- if Curiosity did discover life on Mars, what would be the impact of that discovery to the general public and to the future of human and robotic exploration of Mars?
We are dealing with the beginnings of what could end up being life, or pre-life, or at least simple organics on Mars. Whether the agency will step up to the plate and properly seize this priceless moment is an open question.
News item: NASA scientists monitoring the Mars rover Curiosity hint at big news. Oh, great. But they can't tell us what it is?
The audacity and ingenuity we've applied to the red planet can and should be applied to the blue one.
Jake Matijevic, a mathematician-turned-rover-engineer who played an important role in the design of the Mars Science Laboratory, now appears in Wikipedia as "Jake Matijevic (rock). Who was Jake and what's so important about this rock that he would be honored in this way?
While landing on Mars is not a routine event, there have been many other exemplary federal moments this summer, with agencies and civil servants performing at a high level.
Sir Isaac Newton said, "I can calculate the motion of heavenly bodies, but not the madness of people." There is no disputing physics -- it is a scienc...