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Is this really as big a deal as NASA is making of it?

Data from recent missions to Mars has been building toward a confirmation of the presence of water ice. However, "this would be the first time we held it in our hands, so to speak," says Bryan DeBates, a senior aerospace education specialist at the Space Foundation. Evidence from other locations in the solar system, including Earth's moon, Saturn's Enceladus moon and Jupiter's Europa moon, have strongly hinted at the presence of water--NASA confirmed a liquid lake on Saturn's Titan moon on Wednesday--but no direct observation of water has been made.

Haven't we been pretty certain for years that there was ice on Mars (and outer planet moons, and comets)? What's the big deal here? If there's a story at all, it seems to me that it's about the amount of water available, not the fact that we have "direct confirmation."


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Paul F. Dietz wrote:

This latest discovery pales in comparison to this.

Josh Reiter wrote:

I think I even recall reading one article where it was calculated that at the pressures and temperatures found on Mars that water could remain stable within a foot or 2 of the surface. Which is exactly what we are finding.

Still though, even if you bump into an old prospector and he tells you, "there's gold in them there mountains". One should still be in inclined to do a little ho-down dance when you actually go up into those mountains and hold that first nugget in your hand.

Big D wrote:

Well, there are still some nutty scientists who claim that all the river valleys on Mars were created by means other than liquid dihydrogen monoxide.

Mike Borgelt wrote:

Oh No! Human caused melting of Martian Polar ice!

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This page contains a single entry by Rand Simberg published on July 31, 2008 5:43 AM.

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