Mars Update

July 5, 2009

Mars has been in the news lately – and the news has been pretty darn interesting.  First, on July 2nd there was an articleabout NASA’s idea of terraforming Mars using nanobots.  Well, technically I suppose the plan is to use nanobots to first survey Mars so that the ‘unique Martian biosphere’ can be preserved when Mars is terraformed.  But it is only natural to think we would then use those same nanobots already present to do the grunt work of terraforming – you know, producing oxygen from the carbon dioxide present so that the atmosphere could be altered to support humans and all our accompanying stuff.  Also, the nanobots would likely need to be self replicating, so it would be a good opportunity to practice that technology (and see if the dreaded ‘grey goo’ develops) without risking Earth.  Actually, that doesn’t sound great for the Martian biosphere.  Maybe we should set up a preserve….

Second, on July 3rd NASA announced more Martian news of note:  NASA Mars lander Phoenix discovered snow on the north pole of Mars.  This is the first confirmation we have had of an actice water cycle on Mars.  Aside from the general excitement of the scientific community at a new discovery, NASA is super excited about their theory being confirmed – based on what the lander had seen so far they were pretty sure there was a water cycle.  There is also, of course, excitement over what this means for the future of humans on Mars.  An active water cycle could mean a lot less work making the planet habitable.  Cool, huh?