H2O for aliens

04.03.2004

04.03.2004


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Is it possible to quench your thirst on Mars?

On Tuesday night, America has decided to make all sensation. Deputy Director of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration USA Ed Weiler told a press conference that the Mars rover "Opportunity" located on the Red Planet traces of water. This fact, of course, is not an absolute guarantee of the existence of life on Mars, but greatly increases the likelihood of this.
"Specialists" in the U.S. believe that the erosion found on the rocks examined by the rover could only be the result of exposure to water, and therefore …
— Yet some sensational early to draw any conclusions, — says the scientific secretary of the Institute of Space Research, Alexander Zakharov. — Statements like these appear on a regular basis — depending on the temperament of the researchers themselves. In fact, experts are still our institute it is unclear under what specific research and experimentation Americans make their current strong statements. Most likely they just received some results from the rover, allowing to speak about the probability of the existence of water. But this does not confirm the existence of life on Mars, but just does not contradict this assumption. One of the researchers on this planet is very well said, to prove the presence of life there is very difficult, but to prove its absence — do not!
H2O Footprints on our cosmic neighbor have been found by scientists before. Very interesting results gave the machine "Mars Express" at the end of January. Installed on board spectrometers found in the polar regions of the planet details typical of the "natural" water ice. Its content here, some assumptions can be up to 40 or even 60 percent — a sort of Martian permafrost! "Zapelengovat" also the most "wet" place near the equator. However, too early to make any conclusions:
— Devices on the Martian research aids can only detect indirect confirmation of the presence of water, — says Zakharov. — For example, the spectrometer "Hand" registers only the neutrons that are produced by the interaction of cosmic rays with matter on the surface of the planet. As a result of the device "caught" hydrogen. But this fact enables scientists only make the assumption that, most likely, it traces of water.
According to Alexander V., learn specific information about current U.S. discoveries on Mars Russian scientists could not come quickly:
— As there is an unwritten rule of "raw", unprocessed to the end and unpublished in scientific collections experimental data are in the public domain after a year.
Search of water and, most importantly, life on Mars will continue apace. The plans of the European Space Agency — sending to Mars rovers, equipped with special devices for the study of the biological environment.

Moskovsky Komsomolets on 04.03.2004

Alexander Dobrovolsky

04.03.2004

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