We are a inquisitive people and seek knowledge out I can't remember what instruments they have attached to the rover but maybe have some sort of 'analysis' thingy that can then be sent back to Earth? I think it's cool. They found evidence of a riverbed (rounded rocks) and that strange 'pyrimidal, squarish' rock tip (?) I love hearing and seeing what they are learning.
Re: the rover pushing some sand around... Mars windstorms do a lot more than that. Have you seen the size of the dust devils there? I've got a few movies of them on my old Mars Rover hub with pictures taken by the previous rovers.
Curiosity won't be bringing any samples home, unless there's an enormous rocket stored in her back tire that she's not telling us about! (Remember, this is a planet, not a moon... even as small as Mars is, it still has enough of a gravity well that one has to schelp a big rocket and a lot of fuel up there to get anything back.)
While she was named "Curiosity" to give her a bit more personality/PR, the official designation of this beastie is Mars Science Laboratory, meaning that scientists can do a great deal of investigation using her instruments and sensors remotely. She can't do everything, but her rear section has a chute for grinding up samples she collects and analyzing their composition.
As pyscheskinner notes, the biggest danger is that the rover may accidentally drop some Earth microbes on Mars, which would be rough on any life that is there, since the most likely possibility is bacteria-level microbes living in the permafrost. The crews that built the rover sterilized it thoroughly... except some IDIOT broke the rules and decided to open up the gearbox and stick one of the drillbits into her hand just in case there was a problem with the bit-loading mechanism *facepalm*. Which means that while the tires and scoop tool are sterile, they can't risk drilling into ice if they find any.
The rest of the Rover exploration team is tearing its hair over this, and I rather imagine a few heads rolled.
At least they'll still be able to use the laser. It lets them zap something at a distance, then Curiosity has specialized cameras which can actually deduce chemical composition from the way different chemicals glow when zapped.
I highly recommend following the rover's Twitter channel if you're on Twitter; the gals writing the updates for "her" are very entertaining while they're being educational: https://twitter.com/MarsCuriosity
Do you believe it was right for the explorers who followed Christopher Columbus to bring back tobacco from the newly discovered Americas to Europe?
Frankly, it doesn't matter what most of us think; it is what the 'powers that be' who are in charge of, or have overall authority for, that sort of space exploration who will make that sort of decision. And as they've spent an awful lot of taxpayer money on going up there, chances are they WILL bring back whatever samples and objects they can.
Yes, if one country does it, then others may follow their lead. Also, some country will want to own the planet...look at the Arctic situation. The ice is melting and solid ground is exposed; many countries want to claim that! Humans are greedy beings and will rob and pollute another planet.
that's what they tell us, isn't it! Yet, I wonder. Are they obliged to tell us everything they do? No, my hubfriend the power hierarchy works only one way in this world. And the sad truth is people are ready to believe whatever they are told -yes. me included; all too often until I get chance to sit and think about things.
Define conspiracy. Isn't it something on the lines of lets all agree, this is our story and we'll stick to it! Much more. If no life to issues; no-one saying we're taking what isn't ours to claim etc. You get the drift...
Probably best not to! That way you don't get strange men in dark suits coming round and injecting things to make your head go funny -so every-one can easily dismiss the differing opinion as the person being wacko. ...With that in mind -I think this is my last post. Good Bye -see you on Mars maybe -after the secret genocide?????
There is actually a good point hidden in this word salad. The 1967 Outer Space Treaty mandates that states shall avoid harmful contamination of space and other celestial bodies. If a Martian life form is found, the risk of contamination by Earth life might be deemed too great a risk to allow any future exploration by robotic probes, and would certainly put a stop to any thought of human exploration for the forseeable future.
With that in mind, I can kinda sorta envision a scenario in which a space agency might want to keep a lid on the discovery of Martian life for a while. Though it's not a realistic scenario. I somehow doubt the MSL team would give up their Nobel Prizes and a quadrupling of NASA's budget over a vague and unenforceable UN treaty.
And yet if Marsians or whoever land a spy satelite in the gobey desert (excuse spelling) and say Hmmm. shall we blow it up now we've got our pictures... err, no. Here's an idea... -(See other post timed within 5mins.) How do you even know it isn't just some crash land on one of our deserts that they managed to salvage??
The Question is: Would it be a different story if there was life on another planet as far as terra forming, which sampling seems to be the fore runner to. So, with that in mind were life to exist albeit in some primitive form it would be easy for capitalists etc. to deny, ignor and so exploit for their own ends. Surely now you get it???
But when that is known, then what? I've slept on this, and really wanted to believe that what you say is the only interest. But can't help feeling the more that is learnt the more there will be to exploit. And profit and power will be at the root of much of it!
There is so much we don't know about our own world. And how much do these space explorers etc. cost? What about spending all that on world poverty, famine, disease, homelessness etc. ???
In the first place it is amazing that we have placed a craft on Mars. That says a lot for our potential. Who could not want to feel part of this greatness. I heard on Coast to Coast that Mars is where the human race came from. It would be interesting to find out if Mars could have been the first home of Earthlings. We have to know about our universe. And who knows, someday we may need to get back to Mars!