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Re: Theos-World Martian soil appears able to grow asparagus

Jun 28, 2008 08:31 AM
by Augoeides-222

Morten and all,
    you can go to the following for direct articles on Mars or the phoenix Lander :




-------------- Original message -------------- 
From: "Morten Nymann Olesen" <> 
To all readers

I thought some of you would like to know the following from Reuters and NASA...


Martian soil appears able to support life
Thu Jun 26, 2008 4:19pm EDT

By Jill Serjeant

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - "Flabbergasted" NASA scientists said on Thursday that Martian soil appeared to contain the requirements to support life, although more work would be needed to prove it.

Scientists working on the Phoenix Mars Lander mission, which has already found ice on the planet, said preliminary analysis by the lander's instruments on a sample of soil scooped up by the spacecraft's robotic arm had shown it to be much more alkaline than expected.

"We basically have found what appears to be the requirements, the nutrients, to support life whether past present or future," Sam Kounaves, the lead investigator for the wet chemistry laboratory on Phoenix, told journalists.

"It is the type of soil you would probably have in your back yard, you know, alkaline. You might be able to grow asparagus in it really well. ... It is very exciting for us."

The 1 cubic meter (35 cubic feet) of soil was taken from about 1 inch below the surface of Mars and had a pH, or alkaline, level of 8 or 9. "We were all flabbergasted at the data we got back," Kounaves said.

Pressed on whether there was still any doubt that life existed on Mars in some form, Kounaves said the results were "very preliminary" and more analysis was needed.

But he added: "There is nothing about the soil that would preclude life. In fact, it seems very friendly ... there is nothing about it that is toxic."

M. Sufilight

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