Sunday, August 3, 2008
NASA probe Phoenix has confirmed its presence in Martian soil via chemical detection. It was already almost sure but now it's certfied.
I can only imagine that this is more important than it may look on first sight. If there's water out there (there's some chance of ice water at Moon too and there are other asteroids and satellites that probably have it) the issue of supplying for water and oxygen may be solved and that can push ahead increased Solar System exploration and maybe even some sort of limited colonization (Antarctica-like).
There are still many issues anyhow like the incredibly long duration of travel that would really require submarine-like crews, the huge threat of solar radiation and what the heck can be Mars and other Solar System bodies of use for (other than mere scientific research). And most importantly: how to transport enough supplies across the huge distances of open space to provide for even the tiniest of crews. But guess this discovery can only push ahead the people who is crazy about going to Mars and stuff like that.
I have never been enthusiastic about outer space colnization (there's nothing like Earth out there, really) but guess our species has got too used to be always looking ahead (as remedy against looking inside and fixing our real problems down here) that it's almost unavoidable that the uncertain path of space colonization will be explored sooner than later.
Maybe even the next economic bubble is about Martian real state. Not tomorrow in any case, of course.
More in the sort-run, it looks like the next big scientifical question must be: is there life in Mars. Microorganisms of course.