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Did Curiosity rover find a dried-up river bed on Mars?

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In “Why do we think Curiosity found an old Mars riverbed?” (New Scientist, 28 September 2012 ), Lisa Grossman explains,

Let’s not be H2O-centric here. Could the liquid have been something other than water?

The chemical evidence for hydrated minerals at Gale Crater and elsewhere means water is definitely the top contender – although one team member likes to joke that, for all we know, the liquid could have been beer.


“But these fluvial environments aren’t the best habitable environments,” Gupta says. “They’re not the best at preserving evidence of life.” That’s part of why the rover has already left the outcrops behind and is now heading first toward a spot called Glenelg, where three different rock types come together, and then full speed towards the mountain in the middle of the crater, alternately called Aeolis Mons or Mount Sharp. Orbital images show tantalising evidence of clays in the mountain’s layers, and clays are known to better preserve organics.

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4 Replies to “Did Curiosity rover find a dried-up river bed on Mars?

  1. 1

    That there is water on Mars should not come as a surprise. We’ve known for 30 years that the ice caps of Mars–observed for 200 years–were mostly water ice. We’ve known for 30 years that the daytime temperatures on the surface of Mars can reach 60 F. Even I know that ice + summer = water. And if that isn’t enough, we’ve known for 15 years that the ground under most of the Northern hemisphere is permafrost. We’ve known for 5 years that water drips down canyon walls. This is not news!

    So the reason everyone is acting so surprised, is that the 1976 Viking lander found evidence of life (the labelled release experiment) which was suppressed because the leader of the competition (GCMS instrument) said Mars was too dry. So for 30 years we have been told that Mars was too dry for life, and NASA would definitely, positively NOT fund experiments to look for life because it couldn’t exist.

    Because that rule is still in effect, everyone feigns surprise when water is found. Someday, and I hope soon because Gil Levin is in his mid-80’s, he’ll get the Nobel prize for finding life on the Viking lander, and we’ll end this nonsense about being surprised by water on Mars.

  2. 2
    JLAfan2001 says:


    I’m surprised to hear that a YEC thinks there is life on another planet.

    What you say doesn’t quite make sense to me though. If there indeed was life in the 1976 Viking Lander, why spend billions of dollars and hours of time searching for something that we’ve already found? I know you mentioned the suppression of the competition but if the find was valid it would have found a way to come out. It would have been the news story of a lifetime. “Man has found that we are not alone in the universe” is the age old search. It would have been more practical to back and revisit those findings when we found the evidence for water rather than starting from scratch all over again.

  3. 3
    Joe says:


    I’m surprised to hear that a YEC thinks there is life on another planet.

    The two are not connected.

    And we spend more money to verify/ clarify our earlier findings using better technology-

  4. 4

    I don’t know why a YEC would have a problem with this. I have a colleague who has spoken with both the Vatican and the Moscow patriarch, and they all say that the Bible doesn’t limit what life God can create. The people who have a problem with this are all Darwinists. Yeah, I know that surprises you, and it would take a while to work through the tortured logic, but they do. Trust me, I’ve tried to convince them otherwise.

    And so it was Carl Sagan who opposed the Viking results. It was his disciples that became managers at NASA. And again, it would take a while to work through the tortured logic, but it was not in their interests to advertise life on Mars, and in fact, for 35 years and counting there has been a NASA ban on proposing instruments to look for life on Mars. Yeah, I know you find this hard to believe, but its there in black-and-white in every AO (announcement of opportunity) that comes out from NASA.

    What is worse, there is active deception about experiments that support the discovery. Watching what has been done with the Mars data leaves me speechless because the abandonment of truth is breathtaking. But you already knew that.

    Here’s some other links that talk about it:




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