The blogosphere is abuzz that the Phoenix lander has discovered something much more significant than last week’s confirmation of water on the Martian surface. The sources stop short of saying it’s direct evidence of life, but is more likely evidence for the potential of life on Mars.
The word “compelling” is used to describe whatever the scientists have found — and President Bush has reportedly been briefed already about whatever it is. They also say a press conference is unlikely until mid-August so the Phoenix team has time to sift through all the data.
Associated Press/NASA photo
The robotic Phoenix Mars Mission spacecraft, run by the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory at the University of Arizona, is packed with instruments to remotely search for environments suitable for microbial life on Mars, and to research the history of water there. It’s already a success on the water part of its mission, and if these rumblings are true may be about to go down in history one of the most important missions in space exploration.
Related story: Phoenix lander confirms ice in Martian soil
Sources: Aviation Week, Slashdot, Universe Today, AstroEngine