Thursday, November 29, 2012

Mars Update... and NASA's Warp Drive

"NASA‘s teased data “for the history books” from the Curiosity Mars rover has all been a huge misunderstanding, the space agency now says, with the reference apparently encompassing the mission as a whole – not a specific finding. Anticipation was built earlier this month when principal investigator John Grotzinger told NPR that “this data is gonna be one for the history books” and that “it’s looking really good”; his comments were interpreted as specific to a set of soil sample results Curiosity’s onboard labs had just beamed back to Earth, but NASA says it was all a case of confusion."

-  via a Slash Gear news article, 11/28/12

"The Curiosity rover may have found organic compounds on Mars, Jet Propulsion Laboratory director Charles Elachi said in Rome on Wednesday, according to multiple reports.

"Perhaps Curiosity has found simple organic molecules," Elachi said at La Sapienza University, according to La Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno. "It's preliminary data that must be checked (on) organic, not biological, molecules."

The statement figures to set off a new round of speculation and excitement about the possibility of life on Mars.

Elachi, however, made clear that Curiosity cannot find life."

- via the Denver Post article,  11/28/12


Ah well, Kats and Kitties, as - more or less - predicted in this update, no news is... uh, no news.  Then again, over at Boing Boing, Maggie Koerth-Baker leaps to NASA's defense!

However, cheer up... George Dvorsky reported on io9 (11/26/12) about a warp drive that could change the playing field... or, at least, get us there a lot quicker! See: How NASA might build its very first warp drive.  (Thanks, David!)

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