Monday, June 07, 2010

Non-acidic water on Mars and why we should discuss the social implications of discovering extraterrestrial life

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 - NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit has identified an outcrop of rock that only could have formed in water that was not acidic. The finding is crucial in understanding the planet's early climate and the potential for habitable environments on ancient Mars. See article.
g Life - NASA has announced it has selected two candidate proposals to study how life responds and adapts to space and microgravity for the agency's next Fundamental Space Biology Program "missions of opportunity." One project seeks to discover why bacteria become more virulent in space and another will study how tiny electrical currents in fern spores impact plant development in microgravity. See article.
g Message - For more than 80 years, we’ve been sending radio (and eventually television) transmissions into space, allowing anyone in space to hear war reports from London, “I Love Lucy” reruns and our latest election results. So wouldn’t hearing aliens be as simple as turning on the radio? See article.
g Cosmicus - The Falcon 9, the first of a new generation of private rockets that could one day make space travel commonplace, successfully launched from Cape Canaveral on Friday. See article.
g Learning - Tomorrow's scientists, engineers and mathematicians are in today's classrooms. There is increasing demand that all students study fundamental academics, including science, and pass examinations to advance and graduate from high school. But, beyond high school, will they choose to study science, mathematics and engineering to advance to careers in industry, research, business, and education? See article. Note: This article is from 2003.
g Aftermath - Scientists should pay greater attention to discussing the social implications of discovering extraterrestrial life - even though many researchers shy away from the subject because they don't consider it "hard" science. See article.

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