The Mars Report – September 28, 2012


Welcome back, my dear readers! I have a simply astounding The Mars Report for you, today. However, first, a little science. Now, you know that one of the major reasons that America is going to Mars is to find signs of life, right? Well, the first sign of life is find if there was/is water on Mars. This week NASA/JPL has found evidence of flowing water on Mars, and I am going to show you images of the proof.

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That takes us to our first image of the day, an ancient streambed, found by Curiosity, on the Martian surface. Below is a picture of a rock outcrop in an area named, by NASA/JPL, as “Hottah” after Hottah Lake in Canada’s Northwest Territories. What you are seeing, in this image, is actually exposed bedrock. Yes, it kind of looks like broken sidewalk, but this is called a sedimentary conglomerate. It is broken bedrock mixed with other sedimentary deposits left ages ago.

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Martian Stream Bed

Curiosity rover found evidence for an ancient, flowing stream on Mars at a few sites, including the rock outcrop pictured here, which the science team has named “Hottah” after Hottah Lake in Canada’s Northwest Territories. It may look like a broken sidewalk, but this geological feature on Mars is actually exposed bedrock made up of smaller fragments cemented together, or what geologists call a sedimentary conglomerate.

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Our next image is the first time the 100 millimeter main Mast Camera has been used to take images of this area. This area has been dubbed Goldburn Scour and it actually the very area that was burned by the decent rockets from the Sky Crane. These are marks made, by the rocket engines, of the Sky Crane. The Sky Crane is what that lowered Curiosity down on to the Martian surface. These images are three times the resolution of any released, of this area, yet. As well, these images were the first take of the sandy conglomerate pictured above.

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Goulburn Scour, a set of rocks blasted by the engines of Curiosity's descent stage on Mar

This image from NASA’s Curiosity Rover shows a high-resolution view of an area that is known as Goulburn Scour, a set of rocks blasted by the engines of Curiosity’s descent stage on Mars. It shows a section from a mosaic of a pair of images obtained by Curiosity’s 100-millimeter Mast Camera, with three times higher resolution than previously released. Details of the layer of pebbles can be seen in the close-up.

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The next set of images compares high definition images of Martian sedimentary soil to Earth sedimentary soil. Now, this gets a little scientific here, so I am going to quote what NASA/JPL has written;

        “This set of images compares the Link outcrop of rocks on Mars (left) with similar rocks seen on Earth (right). The image of Link, obtained by NASA’s Curiosity rover, shows rounded gravel fragments, or clasts, up to a couple inches (few centimeters), within the rock outcrop. Erosion of the outcrop results in gravel clasts that fall onto the ground, creating the gravel pile at left. The outcrop characteristics are consistent with a sedimentary conglomerate, or a rock that was formed by the deposition of water and is composed of many smaller rounded rocks cemented together. A typical Earth example of sedimentary conglomerate formed of gravel fragments in a stream is shown on the right.

An annotated version of the image highlights a piece of gravel that is about 0.4 inches (1 centimeter) across. It was selected as an example of coarse size and rounded shape. Rounded grains (of any size) occur by abrasion in sediment transport, by wind or water, when the grains bounce against each other. Gravel fragments are too large to be transported by wind. At this size, scientists know the rounding occurred in water transport in a stream.”

So, if I am reading this correctly, the images we are seeing from Curiosity on Mars are showing geological formations that are similar to those found on Earth. That through these images, and the comparison to Earth images, we can conclude that the same geologic forces present on Earth were (at some time) present on Mars. Hence, there was flowing water on Mars, at least right here.

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Martian Rock va Earth Rock outcrops

This set of images compares the Link outcrop of rocks on Mars (left) with similar rocks seen on Earth (right). The image of Link, obtained by NASA’s Curiosity rover, shows rounded gravel fragments, or clasts, up to a couple inches (few centimeters), within the rock outcrop

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In yet another first on Mars (and for us) our next image is a shot of the robotic arms making contact with a Martian rock for the very first time. One might think that this is an easy task. Anyone that has ever controlled a remote controlled plane or other device might think now big deal.However, keep in mind in this situation you only get one chance. As well, there is a seven minute delay for every action you take. In gaming, we call it lag and it can mean (in gaming) the difference between life and death. However, imagine that you are playing a game at home, and each time you moved your cursor or joystick you had to wait seven minutes before the action reached your television! Now you have an idea of how hard it is, to lock a robotic arm to a rock, safely.

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Robotic Arm Touches First Martian Rock

This image shows the robotic arm of NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity with the first rock touched by an instrument on the arm. The rover’s right Navigation Camera (Navcam) took this image during the 46th Martian day, or sol, of the mission (Sept. 22, 2012).

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Our next image, and the next to the last, is the close-up on the rock. This is one of the images, taken by the robotic arm, once it was in contact with the Martian rock. Geeze, this is a close-up!

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Close Inspection of Martian Rock

This image combines photographs taken by the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) at three different distances from the first Martian rock that NASA’s Curiosity rover touched with its arm. The three exposures were taken during the 47th Martian day, or sol, of Curiosity’s work on Mars (Sept. 23, 2012)

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That brings us to the last image of this edition of The Mars Report here @ The Other Shoe. Our last image of the day shows the dedication plaque on Curiosity. My fellow Pearlanders will remember the plaque that was left on the L.E.M. that took Neil Armstrong to the Moon. Now, there is a similar plaque on Curiosity. It will be there, on Mars, for the rest of time. Here it is!

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Curiosity Dedication Plaque

This view of Curiosity’s deck shows a plaque bearing several signatures of US officials, including that of President Obama and Vice President Biden. The image was taken by the rover’s Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) during the rover’s 44th Martian day, or sol, on Mars (Sept. 19, 2012). The plaque is located on the front left side of the rover’s deck.

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That brings us to the very end of today’s The Mars Report. It is with heavy heart that I write my next words. For the past three months I have been working as hard as I can to bring you, my dear readers, stories and images from far away places and entertainment for your reading pleasure. I do have an ulterior motive, though. I am still raising money for my funding campaigns. I have yet to order my Power Chair, and just how much is in the campaign, the day it ends, dictates the type of Power Chair I get and what I get to add to the power chair (i.e., cane holder, backpack for carrying medications and documentation… a cup holder…). As well, I have not mentioned it before, but Indiegogo will be taking 6% of all contributions.

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Last, Daniel’s Moving Assistance Fund is doing poorly. Now, let me be frank, I am thrilled with the outpouring of generosity and support. However, the success of this campaign dictates if I get to move, or remain in a building of less desirable(s) whom, their drug dealing friends, they know I had kicked out of the building. I am not asking to be moved from a place with an elevator for my power chair and building security. The place I am living in, I will only be able to usemy power chair if my caregiver is here! Yes, it is freedom and mobility I haven’t had in years and years…  but is it truly freedom if I can’t get in my power chair, get on an elevator and go outside alone and get some fresh air? I will leave it up to you, my dear readers.

Please, take a moment… and help me… help myself.

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Daniel's Moving Assistance Fund

Daniel’s Moving Assistance Fund

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About Daniel Hanning
I am a; writer, editor and publisher. I write, most often, articles about our space program, fun videos andpolitical works. My most recent additions are; A Week In Review, Sunday Funnies and The Adventures of Nadia. Along with The Mars Report and Lost in Space. ENJOY!

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