Old 05-13-2008, 12:10 AM Offline   #1 (permalink)



 
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Default Seeking Signs of Ancient Martian Life

StonyandCher writes in about a collaboration between NASA and a leading Australian exploration and mining scientist, Dr. Brent McInnes, to search for signs of ancient life on Mars. The plan is to develop and miniaturize the "Alphachron" — an exploration technology currently employed by the Australian minerals industry to determine the age of minerals. If the Alphachron can be miniaturized, it could fly with the next rover mission set for launch in 2010. "The highest priority is to understand when liquid water was present on Mars. 'The same minerals that can be found in [Western Australia]... can also be found on Mars,' McInnes said. Accordingly, by using the Alphachron to date minerals on Mars and thus tell when liquid water may have been present, it can be inferred when life may have been sustainable near the surface of the planet."
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