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Exciting News From Mars! (But we can't tell you just yet...)

NPR: Scientists working on NASA's six-wheeled rover on Mars have a problem. But it's a good problem.

They have some exciting new results from one of the rover's instruments. On the one hand, they'd like to tell everybody what they found, but on the other, they have to wait because they want to make sure their results are not just some fluke or error in their instrument.

It's a bind scientists frequently find themselves in, because by their nature, scientists like to share their results. At the same time, they're cautious because no one likes to make a big announcement and then have to say "never mind."

The exciting results are coming from an instrument in the rover called SAM. "We're getting data from SAM as we sit here and speak, and the data looks really interesting," John Grotzinger, the principal investigator for the rover mission, says during my visit last week to his office at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. That's where data from SAM first arrive on Earth. "The science team is busily chewing away on it as it comes down," says Grotzinger.

SAM is a kind of miniature chemistry lab. Put a sample of Martian soil or rock or even air inside SAM, and it will tell you what the sample is made of.

Grotzinger says they recently put a soil sample in SAM, and the analysis shows something earthshaking. "This data is gonna be one for the history books. It's looking really good," he says.

Grotzinger can see the pained look on my face as I wait, hoping he'll tell me what the heck he's found, but he's not providing any more information.

Read / listen at NPR:



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I haven't met many...

...people of faith who think it impossible or even improbable that there is life elsewhere. I think the use of that idea is a weak argument against theism based on a misunderstanding.

In fact most people of faith readily believe in other created beings in dimensions and realms beyond their own -- they already believe in 'extraterrestrials' of a sort! So what would be the big deal if there were other creatures within the same dimensions? (It would be a big deal, but not as some threat to theism.)

I agree with your point however

I believe, at least in my opinion, that being Religious and of Faith are different types of belief. In my studies and practices of spiritual growth through meditation, affirming, and becoming emotionally "guided" in my life, I can see how many Faiths contain these same principles of "God being Love" and to "Love unconditionally" and then referencing that to conjuring positive/love emotions within oneself as a means of (divine?) inspiration.

I now strongly believe that Religions are metaphors for ONE divine Truth that different cultures simply translated in relative ways to their own experiences.

I grew up Christian but have since taken on my own personal spiritual faith that sees the benefit of all those beautiful differing expressions of the ONE. It's sort of like the same song being played by a different instruments.

I have experienced "things" in deep meditation that I thought only hallucinogenics could induce. I'd really like to spend some time in an isolation tank to see how deep I can go. Being alive and breathing is such an amazing gift!

"We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience"—Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

And there are those who can read between the lines

Amen to that!

"We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience"—Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

bigmikedude's picture

Let me guess....

They finally found Jimmy Hoffa.

Either that or they have now officially confirmed that there is wind on Mars too.

That sure seems to be the kind of "earth shaking" news all of these billion dollar rover missions usually produce.