During a news conference this week, NASA announced that, using spectral analysis, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter detected what scientists believe to be definitive signs of liquid water on Mars.
Andrew Coates, from the University College London’s Mullard space science laboratory, told the Guardian that he expects heated discussions from scientists about the idea of using the Curiosity rover to directly examine the liquid water on Mars.
“We’ve known about these streaks for … several years and most of us suspected from the beginning that they were probably made with briny water, said Sean McMahon of Yale’s Department of Geology and Geophysics”.
The NASA panelists spoke about the similarities between Mars and Earth, along with the difficulties in creating the technology necessary for a human landing on the planet. “Water is very sparse on the surface of Mars”.
“For the first time, we have orbital evidence of the agent that has enabled water to flow under on the surface of today’s Mars”, said Michael Meyers, Lead Scientist of the Mars Exploration Program. It is important that the rover that will be making the trip to get samples should be sterile and won’t bring along bugs or particles from earth that may contaminate the water samples.
However, it is still a mystery whether the streaks themselves are indeed flowing water or simply a result of it. And yet, the water plays a vital role in the formation of the said streaks.
“We couldn’t have the timing any better than with the NASA discovery of water on Monday”, Tibben said.
Those attending the premier said the recent talk of water on Mars also intrigued them to attend the movie screening as well.
Tibben said that in her high school courses, students just finished up a unit on stars, and she saw the video chat with NASA as a great opportunity for students to learn about the different tools and methods used to study space.
Thursday, October 1, 2015, NASA’s Kennedy Space Center conducted an educational live stream called “So You Want to be a Martian“, with commentary from a panel of experts.
Chevrier said the next great adventure for mankind may be travel to other planets. The said contamination makes the vehicle ineligible to meet the sanitary standards required to visit the discovery site on Mars. There’s the moon but that’s orbiting us so it’s nowhere near as far away as Mars will be.