Daily Roundup: “It Ain’t Water On Mars” and Some Want UK Astronauts, But Others Don’t

Simulations of dry debris flow and water flow when compared with HiRISE observations. Figure credit: Jon Pelletier, University of Arizona

There has been much debate surrounding observations by the artificial satellites orbiting Mars, but with one discovery, the debate was… non-debatable. Liquid water was flowing (albeit quickly) across the Martian surface intermittently, creating river-like channels flowing down crater sides. But that was until a group of University of Arizona scientists tackled the situation. To their surprise it wasn’t water that was flowing, it was something entirely different…

It’s always a surprise (and a knock to the confidence) when you go into an experiment with an idea of the outcome, but end up totally wrong. Well, some geophysicists from the University of Arizona are getting a feel of this situation. On analysing data from the HiRISE instrument onboard NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, everybody thought the river-like gullies were formed by rapid surges of water in the past few years. This however appears not to be the case. Running simulations, the group found the gullies were most likely formed by dry landslides, not liquid water… that’s a bit of a blow for exobiologists and manned settlement planners, there’s no shortcut for finding water in the arid landscape of the Red Planet…

Next up, the chairman of a major satellite communications company in the UK believes British non-involvement in manned exploration in space is a good thing. It would consume too many resources and would distract from other space projects. Perhaps the UK should focus on building an interplanetary communications system? Well that would make sense; this guy is selling satellites after all…

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s