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The Great Meridiani Debate
Guest_BruceMoomaw_*
post Dec 24 2005, 08:18 AM
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If you REALLY like irony: the landing site picked for the stationary 2001 lander before it was switched to Meridiani was the Libya Montes on the southern rim of Isidis -- which OMEGA has now shown to alternate large amounts of Noachian clays with bands of more recent olivine melted by the giant Isidis impact and then splashed over parts of the clay area. What would the 2001 Lander (which had a precision landing guidance system) have seen if it had landed on top of one of those clay deposits and examined it with its MECA microscopes (and for that matter its wet-chemical analyzer)?
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Guest_Myran_*
post Dec 24 2005, 09:15 AM
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QUOTE
CosmicRocker said: But the people who wrote these new papers are good scientists, too.


Absolutely!
The problem I have and what I assume that most others in this thread have, are not the findings of a sulfate dominated hydrology that might be ground-water only / or even simply fog that have reacted with volcanic minerals.

Whats so odd about that? Its from a late time and so almost what to be expected to see on the surface judging from the conditions we see today.

Sorry for stating the obvious: What we see here have to be from a rather late chapter of the Martian history for the simple reason its found on the top!
And more or less judging the entire history of the site only from looking at what you can see from the surface can only be misleading indeed.
(Yes I know you guys in the USA got dinosaur bones near the surface in some areas but thats due to erosion and only 65+ millions year in any case, even the Cambrian Period of ~540 mya are too recent for what we are looking for here.)

The problem that I have are how those who are supposed to bring the news out to the less scientifically inclined masses, have turned facts into a UFO story.
But yes that must have been the case, the regular staff went on christmas leave and they brought in replacaments from National Enq....... cool.gif

.....but yes, Merry Christmas to all of you!
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edstrick
post Dec 24 2005, 10:12 AM
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Note that from the Mariner 9 discovery of outflow channels and the dendritic highland channels, that there was a continuous chorus of alternating viewpoints that the features were eolian in origin, or alternately involved cold fluidized erosive flows driven by CO2/Water clathrate ice releases. Most of these theories have faded, but their supporting team's efforts at pushing those alternatives to water erosion lasted well into the 90's.
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Guest_BruceMoomaw_*
post Dec 24 2005, 10:48 AM
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One -- but only one -- of the articles on MER-B's findings in the 11-30-05 "Earth & Planetary Science Letters" is now available for free at http://www.geol.umd.edu/~kaufman/ppt/G436/...ry/Knoll_05.pdf :
"An Astrobiological Perspective on Meridiani Planum" by Andrew Knoll et al.

A very interesting piece, confirming that it would be a difficult place for life to have evolved out of prebiotic organics -- but also listing several reasons why it might be harder for even already-existing microbes to survive in than similar acid environments are on Earth (mainly because they have a larger supply of various highly useful chemicals coming in from outside). We have GOT to get a good look at one of those non-acidic clay deposits.
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sranderson
post Dec 24 2005, 08:42 PM
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QUOTE (Myran @ Dec 24 2005, 03:15 AM)
Sorry for stating the obvious: What we see here have to be from a rather late chapter of the Martian history for the simple reason its found on the top!
And more or less judging the entire history of the site only from looking at what you can see from the surface can only be misleading indeed.

*


Gotta get to Victoria folks.

Craters are to Martian geology as road cuts and canyons are to Earth geology.

Scott
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CosmicRocker
post Dec 27 2005, 07:43 AM
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Yep. We have got to see more of the section. There's no debate there. But this is a really interesting place. It's too bad Opportunity has been immobilized for so long. There are targets all around it that would fill in some of the details.

There seems to be quite a fight brewing in this Great Meridiani Debate. It's quite interesting to watch. My best guess at this point is that they are arguing about a location for a sample return mission. Anyone have any other ideas?


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I'm not a Space Fan, I'm a Space Exploration Enthusiast.
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Reckless
post Dec 27 2005, 10:58 AM
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I think debate might have some impact on the sample return mission and where to send the Mars Science Rover in 2009 but no decision will be made until the MRO has arrived and done it's thing.
There is so much to see and find out about.
Eos Chasma looks good and I understand they have detected granite in a part of Tharsis! smile.gif mars.gif

Reckless
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Bill Harris
post Dec 27 2005, 11:10 AM
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We do need to see more of the section, but this is a good exposure and we need to look closely at "C" on this A-B-C-D roadtrip. Oppy does need to get moving to the next target, but evidently there are concerns about the unstowable IDD.

We'll get on the road "eventually".

--Bill


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Guest_AlexBlackwell_*
post Mar 8 2006, 12:11 AM
Post #39





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QUOTE (BruceMoomaw @ Dec 24 2005, 10:48 AM) *
One -- but only one -- of the articles on MER-B's findings in the 11-30-05 "Earth & Planetary Science Letters" is now available for free at http://www.geol.umd.edu/~kaufman/ppt/G436/...ry/Knoll_05.pdf :
"An Astrobiological Perspective on Meridiani Planum" by Andrew Knoll et al.

I'm not sure if anyone has posted anything new on this or not but, for those without access to EPSL, I'll note that two more papers from this issue are now freely available on the web: Provenance and diagenesis of the evaporite-bearing Burns formation, Meridiani Planum, Mars by McLennan et al. and Chemistry and mineralogy of outcrops at Meridiani Planum by Clark et al.
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Shaka
post Mar 8 2006, 12:47 AM
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QUOTE (AlexBlackwell @ Mar 7 2006, 02:11 PM) *
I'm not sure if anyone has posted anything new on this or not but, for those without access to EPSL, I'll note that two more papers from this issue are now freely available on the web: Provenance and diagenesis of the evaporite-bearing Burns formation, Meridiani Planum, Mars by McLennan et al. and Chemistry and mineralogy of outcrops at Meridiani Planum by Clark et al.

I have access to EPSL, at the SOEST library, but appreciate the heads-up anyway. smile.gif


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Guest_AlexBlackwell_*
post Mar 8 2006, 12:49 AM
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QUOTE (Shaka @ Mar 8 2006, 12:47 AM) *
I have access to EPSL, at the SOEST library, but appreciate the heads-up anyway. smile.gif

So do I. And you're welcome biggrin.gif However, I'm pretty sure the vast majority here don't have access, and there seemed to be some interest in these papers.
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Guest_BillyMER_*
post Mar 8 2006, 12:52 AM
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QUOTE (CosmicRocker @ Dec 27 2005, 02:43 AM) *
Yep. We have got to see more of the section. There's no debate there. But this is a really interesting place. It's too bad Opportunity has been immobilized for so long. There are targets all around it that would fill in some of the details.

There seems to be quite a fight brewing in this Great Meridiani Debate. It's quite interesting to watch. My best guess at this point is that they are arguing about a location for a sample return mission. Anyone have any other ideas?



I been wondering for some time now if we could see a sample return collector rover enter say endurance crater,that exact crater.We know what's there. If you send the sample return rover to some other part of the planet or some other part of Meridiani Planum you don't know exactly what you would find. Would you want to take the risk of sending it to location that your not definitely sure of because you haven't been there on the ground and may not get the sample your after. Of course we don't know what MSL is going to find that you might want to bring back to Earth.that could change this equation.
That would be strange to see a return sample rover entering Victoria crater and seeing a broken down oppy or a oppy that has taken a suicide plunge into the crater.

Could a scenario like this take place ? In 6-10 years could we obtain this degree of accuracy in a landing site ?
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Shaka
post Mar 8 2006, 01:15 AM
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QUOTE (BillyMER @ Mar 7 2006, 02:52 PM) *
I been wondering for some time now if we could see a sample return collector rover enter say endurance crater,that exact crater.We know what's there. If you send the sample return rover to some other part of the planet or some other part of Meridiani Planum you don't know exactly what you would find. Would you want to take the risk of sending it to location that your not definitely sure of because you haven't been there on the ground and may not get the sample your after. Of course we don't know what MSL is going to find that you might want to bring back to Earth.that could change this equation.
That would be strange to see a return sample rover entering Victoria crater and seeing a broken down oppy or a oppy that has taken a suicide plunge into the crater.

Could a scenario like this take place ? In 6-10 years could we obtain this degree of accuracy in a landing site ?

Heck, yeah! Why not? If I read the latest bumpf on sample return correctly, there is likely to be a Rover robot (Rovers are the flavor of the year, in case you haven't noticed! wink.gif ) which runs around collecting a bunch of samples, then brings them back to a stationary ascent/return stage, loads them aboard, and the latter blasts off back to earth! Sweet, huh? If Oppy finds something exciting enough at Victoria - like maybe a stratigraphic history of watery phases at Meridiani laugh.gif - The engineers might design a specific Victoria Probe , with a telescoping sampler arm to reach up across the whole exposure and sample the whole history. (That's a freebie, JPL, run with it!) rolleyes.gif Maybe there'd even be room to bring back Oppy's cold little form for a respectful burial on his home planet. (insert emoticon for choking sobs)


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Guest_BillyMER_*
post Mar 8 2006, 01:46 AM
Post #44





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QUOTE (Shaka @ Mar 7 2006, 08:15 PM) *
Heck, yeah! Why not? If I read the latest bumpf on sample return correctly, there is likely to be a Rover robot (Rovers are the flavor of the year, in case you haven't noticed! wink.gif ) which runs around collecting a bunch of samples, then brings them back to a stationary ascent/return stage, loads them aboard, and the latter blasts off back to earth! Sweet, huh? If Oppy finds something exciting enough at Victoria - like maybe a stratigraphic history of watery phases at Meridiani laugh.gif - The engineers might design a specific Victoria Probe , with a telescoping sampler arm to reach up across the whole exposure and sample the whole history. (That's a freebie, JPL, run with it!) rolleyes.gif Maybe there'd even be room to bring back Oppy's cold little form for a respectful burial on his home planet. (insert emoticon for choking sobs)


yes I had also read that a rover would be part of a sample return mission,I wonder if after the rover collected the samples and were on their way back to earth if the rover would be made to continue on with a full blown mission of it's own.
About oppys return,I've always thought that some day hundreds and hundreds of years from now that one or both of the rovers could/would be returned to earth and to a museum.
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Shaka
post Mar 8 2006, 02:01 AM
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QUOTE (BillyMER @ Mar 7 2006, 03:46 PM) *
yes I had also read that a rover would be part of a sample return mission,I wonder if after the rover collected the samples and were on their way back to earth if the rover would be made to continue on with a full blown mission of it's own.


Shoot, yeah! Y'can't kill the little beggars!

QUOTE (BillyMER @ Mar 7 2006, 03:46 PM) *
About oppys return,I've always thought that some day hundreds and hundreds of years from now that one or both of the rovers could/would be returned to earth and to a museum.

Won't take that long. The problem will be the fierce bun-fight between the earthlings and the martians over right of possession! The earthlings will say, Hey, we made the #&%* thing! The martians will say, Bells!, It landed on our turf, and is an integral part of our history and culture!
Who do you think will win? cool.gif


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