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#1 2004-02-27 12:39:08

Mr_Toad
Member
From: Dallas
Registered: 2004-02-27
Posts: 3

Re: Is Rover evidence arguing against water? - Is Rover evidence arguing against water?

[color=#000000:post_uid9]I fear this will not be a popular post... 

smile

QUESTION:  Do folks on this site know where the “general public” can locate more substantive scientific & mineralogical "press releases" that provide scientific data beyond what is released by NASA to the popular press and to high school students?   I am interested in more specific mineralogical data that have been uncovered by Spirit & Opportunity.  The Rovers have been on Mars for weeks now, grinding and analysing, so where are the details available?

REASON:  As I review various articles and press releases for the current Rover mission, I find many NASA comments about "interesting", “weird”, and “surprising” features....but very limited specifics on Mars mineralogy or petrology uncovered by the current Mars Rover instruments.  Various analyses and grindings have been performed for several weeks, and I have sent several emails to the Cornell/ Athena/ NASA/ JPL Contact email addresses, but have not received a reply.  (However, I am sure they are quite busy to be answering lots of emails.)

OPINION:  Unless I am mistaken, thus far it appears that Spirit & Opportunity have uncovered evidence that argues in favor of typical basaltic petrology, and against the presence of significant water in the regions of investigation, rather than in favor of significant water.  All rock magmas possess some quantity of water, so any geologist knows without traveling to Mars that water was present in the geohistory of Mars.  Indeed, water will be found on virtually ALL stony planets in the universe.  However, was the quantity of Martian water adequate to generate life, and were the Martian aqueous environments favorable to the creation of life?  NASA's Rover press released evidence thus far argues against it for the areas of investigation.

ROVER EVIDENCE:  Specifically, the geological information listed below can be gleaned from the NASA Rover press releases as of Feb 27, 2004, and each of these argues in some way against signficant water or a sedimentary geological history in the Mars regions of investigation:

1.  BASALT - Sol 1, First Rover landed in a basalt field, perhaps vesicular (basalt was immediately apparent in Rover photographs released on sol 1, as well as from subsequent analysis and core drilling).
2.  OLIVINE - Presence of olivine (both in situ and in soil?), argues against significant surface water, due to olivine’s rapid erosion by water due to its disequilibrium with surface environments.
3.  NO GOETHITE - Presence of crystalline hematite (Fe2O3), while simultaneously lacking evidence of an associated goethite or a gossan/ iron hat structure to indicate hydration effects of water on hematite (generally, Fe2O3 + HOH --> 2FeO(OH)).  Gossans are how hematite is typically found on earth for iron mining.
4.  VOLCANIC TUFF - A spheruled, layered, "salt and pepper" rock that looks very much like a typical, terrestrial volcanic tuff.
5.  MAFIC VOLCANICS - General Martian geological features consistent with terrestrial mafic volcanic activity.
6.  NO STRONG SEDIMENTARY/ GEOCHEMICAL EVIDENCE - No strong evidence thus far to indicate significant water-born sedimentary, evaporitic, or carbonate geochemical activity; versus mineralogical evidence that more likely points to carbonates and salts of igneous/ hydrothermal origin.
7.  TYPICAL WIND-BLOWN DEPOSITS/ FEATURES - A variety of soil deposits and structures that seem to suggest wind-blown alluvial deposits (“Qal”) overlaying in situ outcrops of pyrochlastic and mafic lava flow petrology, versus deposits and structures of sedimentary origin.[/color:post_uid9]

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#2 2004-02-27 18:25:39

Rxke
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2003-11-03
Posts: 3,658

Re: Is Rover evidence arguing against water? - Is Rover evidence arguing against water?

[color=#000000:post_uid14]Mr Toad, great overview, can't begin to express how welcome your comment is, though it might be bad news, depends what one likes Mars to 'have been'.......

I mean also welcome in the way that, i, too -and i think a lot of other people on these boards are getting a bit puzzled by the question: 'where is the hard data staying?' Nice pictures, yes, but if you have the gall to be so enthousiastic about your scientific package, and then not releasing anything... pfff... Sad show. One measly graph from Spirit's first measurement...

Hope to hear more from you... Comments on specific features will be lapped up by an eager audienc, i can assure you![/color:post_uid14]


ExoMars' launcher's 2nd stage is probably en route to Mars. Unsterilised... yikes

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#3 2004-02-28 11:00:45

dickbill
Member
Registered: 2002-09-28
Posts: 749

Re: Is Rover evidence arguing against water? - Is Rover evidence arguing against water?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]I agree with Mr Toad. The public broaccasting media stuff could be more better done, but, maybe this is the trend in Mars science. Mars Express releases barely a picture every 2 weeks.
The only thing that is equaly shared by the scientists and the public are the taxes payed to fund these project.

Also, at the begining of the rover mission, Jen. Trosper warned that no raw data will be released to the public at the exception of the pictures, because "(these raw data) wouldn't make sense for the public, anyway".
Well, I don't agree, there are geologists and chemists in the world that would be perfectly able to understand the data, like Mr Toad maybe ?
But I don't agree with Toad that NASA cares whatever the results suggest water or no water. Why ? because if there is no standing water in the past, Mars loose all its interest and all future missions are compromised ?[/color:post_uid0]

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#4 2004-02-28 11:21:38

Rxke
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2003-11-03
Posts: 3,658

Re: Is Rover evidence arguing against water? - Is Rover evidence arguing against water?

[color=#000000:post_uid13]

... Mars Express releases barely a picture every 2 weeks.
....The only thing that is equaly shared by the scientists and the public are the taxes payed to fund these project.
[/quote:post_uid13]

*blink*

Dickbill, bravo! I think you just explained the reason why we don't get the data...

Mars Express is European, and our nice ESA has this despicable policy not to disseminate it's data, except if you pay for it...
And every single time i think about that fact i get RAGING MAD! It's OUR taxmoney, freaking idiots!

[b:post_uid13]Miljaardevlammenstenondedju!!![/b:post_uid13]

(Yes, that was good ol' Flemish cursing... We're renowned for our eloquent cursing...)

Now... Remember the fact the Mossbauer and APXS were built in Germany?
Could it be that...?[/color:post_uid13]


ExoMars' launcher's 2nd stage is probably en route to Mars. Unsterilised... yikes

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