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 thread  Author  Topic: NASA 2020/MARS " FOSSIL FINDER"  (Read 348 times)
Cliff-67
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xx NASA 2020/MARS " FOSSIL FINDER"
« Thread started on: Jan 18th, 2017, 12:25am »

NASA's 2020 Mars Mission 'Fossil Finder' --"Doubles Down on Search for Life With Alien Biochemistry"

January 16, 2017

“On Earth, our ancient rock record has been through the washing machine and the ringer so many times that the fact that anything still retains any signature of its age is a miracle,” says Brown University’s Jack Mustard, one of the experts consulting with NASA on its fossil-finding mission. “The rocks on Mars would not have been processed to the same extent, would not have been beat up as much, would not have been stretched and squished and heated and buried and exhumed,” he says.

“There's definitely a potential for life-forms that might have existed there that had a different biochemistry," says Mustard."If it were staring us in the face, hopefully we'd be able to recognize there’s some organizational aspect that would point to it not being a geologic process.”

CONTINUE :
http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2017/01/todays-galaxy-stream-nasas-2020-mars-mission-fossil-finder-doubles-down-on-search-for-life-with-an-a.html

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xx Re: NASA 2020/MARS " FOSSIL FINDER"
« Reply #1 on: Jan 25th, 2017, 5:20pm »

I hope they choose Gusev Crater. smiley


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xx Re: NASA 2020/MARS " FOSSIL FINDER"
« Reply #2 on: Jan 25th, 2017, 5:54pm »


I do believe that data has been posted before Ak. Thx ! Very Interesting I must say.........

Check this out.

Journal of Astrobiology & Outreach


Abstract

The Mars Exploration Rover Spirit investigated plains at Gusev crater, where sedimentary rocks are present. The Spirit rover’s Athena morphological investigation shows microstructures organized in intertwined filaments of microspherules: a texture we have also found on samples of terrestrial stromatolites and other microbialites. We performed a quantitative image analysis to compare 45 microbialites samplings with 50 rover’s ones (approximately 25,000/20,000 microstructures). Contours were extracted and morphometric indexes obtained: geometric and algorithmic complexities, entropy, tortuosity, minimum and maximum diameters. Terrestrial and Martian textures resulted multifractals, while terrestrial abiogenic minerals showed a simple fractal structure. Mean values and confidence intervals from the Martian images overlapped perfectly with those from terrestrial samples. The probability of this occurring by chance was less than 1/28, p<0.004. Our work show the presumptive evidence of microbialites in the Martian outcroppings explored by “Spirit”, confirming our previous results concerning the Martian outcroppings explored by Opportunity at Meridiani Planum: unicellular life was widespread on the ancient Mars.

Keywords

Spirit mars exploration rover; Stromatolites; Microbialites; Fractal analysis; Life on mars

Introduction

Rover Spirit touched down the volcanic plains of Gusev Crater on 4 January 2004, for ten years it has runned on the Martian surface. From the landing site to “Pot of Gold” site (on sol 200 about), extensive/ destroyed volcanic outcroppings, often covered by weathering coatings and/or floating on eolic sands, as crater ejecta were evident. The Rover then reached the inner basin of Columbia Hills, the images showed here layered sequences, containing sulfate and other soluble elements, due to ancient large process of aqueous alteration [1-3]. At Home Plate, where are the most evident geologic feature investigated in the Inner Basin, these layered sequences appeared formed by erosion of basaltic rocks and pyroclastic activity, deposited as alluvial fans and/or as eolian sand sheets [4-7]. In effect, ancient volcanic ash, known as “tephra”, and hydrothermal deposits created in a nearby volcanic eruption, initially covered much of the Columbia Hills and the surrounding area [8], and then was covered by deposit of a cold lake [9]. The wind and weathering processes eroded most of that deposit, also carrying away much of the evidence for the ancient lake: an environment where to search for life could be interesting.

Stromatolites/microbialites are a frequently named target of lifedetection missions on Mars [10-13]. Stromatolites/microbialites are an organization of primitive cyanobacteria, analogous to coral reefs that grow/grew in vast colonies. Fossil stromatolites, as well other microbialites, can be identified through their macro-meso-Microcharacteristic structures that result from the growth patterns of their constituent bacteria [14-17].

Rizzo observed by a qualitative visual inspection that images of Martian outcroppings (selected frames from images obtained by Opportunity and Spirit rovers) presented features resembling terrestrial stromatolites/microbialites [18-20]. Recently, we performed a fractal morphometric quantitative analysis of the Martian outcroppings explored by the Rover Opportunity revealing evidences of the presence of microbialites at Meridiani Planum [21]. In order to search for possible signature of microbialites in other Martian regions, we have performed a morphometric analysis of the Martian outcroppings shot by the ATHENA facility aboard of the Rover Spirit, comparing fractal morphometric indexes of the microtextures evidenced in the Martian outcropping with the ones of terrestrial microbialites.

Continue Reading :

https://www.esciencecentral.org/journals/microbialites-at-gusev-crater-mars-2332-2519-1000143.php?aid=63444

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xx Re: NASA 2020/MARS " FOSSIL FINDER"
« Reply #3 on: Jan 25th, 2017, 6:02pm »


Stromatolites ?

http://cosmos.nautil.us/feature/76/when-did-life-on-earth-begin
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xx Re: NASA 2020/MARS " FOSSIL FINDER"
« Reply #4 on: Feb 12th, 2017, 10:02am »

on Jan 25th, 2017, 5:20pm, A k 9 wrote:
I hope they choose Gusev Crater. smiley



Good choice Ak wink

Scientists Shortlist Three Landing Sites for Mars 2020


https://www.nasa.gov/feature/jpl/scientists-shortlist-three-landing-sites-for-mars-2020

« Last Edit: Feb 12th, 2017, 10:03am by Cliff-67 » User IP Logged

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xx Re: NASA 2020/MARS " FOSSIL FINDER"
« Reply #5 on: Mar 2nd, 2017, 10:09pm »


Space.com

March 1, 2017

Should NASA's Next Mars Rover Tread New Ground?

The search for Martian life may take NASA's next Red Planet rover to a site already explored by one of its smaller cousins.

Columbia Hills/Gusev Crater, which NASA's now-dead Spirit rover studied intensively from 2004 through 2009, is one of three finalist landing sites for the agency's next Mars rover, a life-hunting machine scheduled to launch in 2020.

Spirit found evidence of an ancient hydrothermal system, meaning Columbia Hills/Gusev once hosted liquid water and an energy source — two of the key ingredients necessary for life as we know it.


Continue Here
www.space.com/35866-nasa-mars-2020-rover-landing-site.html

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xx Re: NASA 2020/MARS " FOSSIL FINDER"
« Reply #6 on: Mar 28th, 2017, 1:15pm »

Then, there is EXOMARS 2020 and Trace Gas Orbiter

FINAL TWO EXOMARS LANDING SITES CHOSEN

28 March 2017

Two ancient sites on Mars that hosted an abundance of water in the planet’s early history have been recommended as the final candidates for the landing site of the 2020 ExoMars rover and surface science platform: Oxia Planum and Mawrth Vallis.

A primary technical constraint is that the landing site be at a suitably low level, so that there is sufficient atmosphere to help slow the landing module’s parachute descent.

Then, the 120 x 19 km landing ellipse should not contain features that could endanger the landing, the deployment of the surface platform ramps for the rover to exit, and driving of the rover. This means scrutinising the region for steep slopes, loose material and large rocks.

Oxia Planum was selected in 2015 for further detailed evaluation. Although not yet complete, the investigation so far indicates that the region would meet the various constraints. In addition, one other site had to be chosen from Aram Dorsum and Mawrth Vallis.

Continue :
http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/ExoMars/Final_two_ExoMars_landing_sites_chosen


« Last Edit: Mar 28th, 2017, 1:40pm by Cliff-67 » User IP Logged

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