Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Martian habitability past and future, and reconnaissance for Lunar colonization

Welcome! "Alien Life" tracks the latest discoveries and thoughts in the various elements of the famous Drake Equation. Here's today's news:
g Abodes - New data shows that the area where NASA's Phoenix Mars mission landed may have been habitable for microbes in Mars' past – and could become habitable again in Mars' future. The results are discussed in the first major peer-reviewed reports on the mission's findings, published in this week's edition of the journal Science. See article.
g Life - Why do plants reflect in the green and have a “red edge” in the red, and should extrasolar photosynthesis be the same? See article.
g Cosmicus - NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, or LRO, has transmitted its first images since reaching lunar orbit June 23. This mission will help NASA identify safe landing sites for future explorers, locate potential resources, describe the moon's radiation environment and demonstrate new technologies. See article.
g Learning - Nationally, there's political pressure to improve K-12 education. The federal mandate known as 'No Child Left Behind' drives schools to focus on basics: reading, writing and arithmetic in order to improve student test scores in these areas. Art, music, social studies, science, etc. are pushed aside in the paper chase generated by standardized tests. See article. Note: This article is from 2007.

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