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5 pressing questions the Mars Curiosity Rover should answer

On Monday, the Mars Curiosity Rover arrived in its entire six legged splendor on the Planet Mars. What welcomed her, and for the purposes of this article let’s assume it’s her, was a vast Martian desert. The first photos she sent out from space gave the world a glimpse into the confounded terrain of the Planet Mars.

While scientists at NASA are confident going into the two year exploration that the Mars Rover will find traces of water and could answer one of humanities most pressing questions, “Are we truly alone?”, we bring you 5 pressing questions the Mars Curiosity Rover should answer.

1. Is there water on Mars?
These images from the Phoenix Mars Lander show sublimation of ice in the trench informally called "Dodo-Goldilocks" between Sols 20 and 24 (June 15 and 18, 2008. CREDIT: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona/Texas A&M University

This one’s obvious, for years NASA has been sending explorers into space to find water or traces of water on the red planet. While the NASA’s Phoenix Lander found water ice on Mars away from the Polar Ice Caps, no trace of water in its liquid or gaseous state has ever been found on the Red Planet. [1] How incredibly exciting a prospect would it be if the Mars Rover found standing water on the planet. That would be the most crucial step to discovering if life ever arose on The Red Planet.

2. Does Mars have the potential to support vegetation?

Well a file photo released in 2007 would indicate so. A number of theorists have for years analyzed these images and have come to the conclusions that Mars may be able to support forms of vegetation (notice the formations similar to pine trees in the file photo). [2] If the Mars Rover does chances upon vegetation in its two year stint, think of the possibilities of finding an alien variety of tea.

3. What is the temperature on Mars?

The climate on Mars has been an issue of scientific curiosity for years, and the folks at NASA would hope that this curiosity can be satiated by its namesake explorer. The climate on Earth and Mars is similar including polar ice caps, seasons and the observable presence of weather patterns. According to the Viking Orbiter Infrared Thermal Mapper data; the temperature on Mars varies from a warmest temperature of 27 °C (81 °F) to −143 °C (−225 °F) at the winter polar caps. [3] Will the Mars Curiosity Rover get us closer to discovering the average temperatures on the planet?

4. Can humans be sent to Mars?

It would be the next logical course. Once the Mars Rover completes its two year exploration, it will be time scientists at NASA believe for the next stage and that is human exploration. These two years will be crucial from the point of view of data collection, primarily to acclimatize humans with conditions on the red planet and knowing what to expect once there. It’s no wonder that the Rover is loaded with a high resolution camera to capture color photos to aid discovery of the planet on Earth.

5. Are we truly alone?
A mountain to climb for the Rover

While it may seem like wishful thinking, how much do we truly know about the unknown? The sheer excitement behind the Mars Rover landing is due to the fact that we may find traces of alien life on the planet. If it truly brings us answers to the existence of life on the Planet, we may have to finally accept the fact, that we are not alone.

 

References: 1. http://www.space.com/5546-proof-water-ice-mars.html 2. http://rense.com/general63/surb.htm 3. http://www.astronomycafe.net/qadir/q2681.html

 

 

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