Let's predict what the Curiosity rover will discover on Mars

Yep… it’s a pretty amazing feat, that rover thing, isn’t it?

And now after the landing, it’s time to stop celebrating and …get to work.
But who wants to wait for a year or two while NASA analyzes the data?

So let’s all play: “Predict What Will the Rover Discover”.

I already know the headline I’m waiting for: “Rover finds life on Mars”
But I want *real * life…
No fossilized bacteria for me…I want to see little green men with antennae on their heads that land next to the rover in a flying saucer and say “take me to your leader”.
But since that’s not likely to happen, what else can I look forward to hearing about that will fire up my enthusiasm for more space missions in the future?

Because I loved reading Packing for Mars*. But all we’re likely to get from NASA is a bunch of dry articles by scientists about geology and erosion rates, and maybe there was water once, and maybe a bit of methane or carbon or stuff.
What else might the Curiosity find?
(*by Mary Roach…who obviously had a lot of fun writing a very ,well, human look at the science behind the astronauts. Plus, she got to sit on the space toilet.)

There has never been life on Mars.

Didnt you ever read comic books? (or H.G.Wells? )

I think it will look down and find it landed on a cat.


Yeah, but now you’re in trouble…
'cause you know the rule here about kitties…Now you have to post a pic.

There has always been life on Marasia.

They will find life everywhere they look but it will all be gross like Martian maggots and horrible insect like things that make roaches on earth look like baby seals. Some people will be fascinated but most will simply get disgusted and demand that NASA never show photos of it in the popular media again.

This sounds like a question they’d ask to close Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me.

Peter S: What will the Curiosity Rover discover on Mars?
Paula P: That it needs women.

Curiosity will not find ‘life’ because cannot, the rover is not capable of testing for life. It is searching for organic compounds, minerals and other indicators that life might be possible, or have been possible in the past.

Repeat, Curiosity cannot test for, or discover life on Mars. Indicators perhaps, not life.

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/science/article/Mars-rover-set-to-look-for-life-s-ingredients-3767448.php#ixzz22tncI7NG

They protest too much. Repeated statements the rover isn’t looking for life is proof the rover is looking for life.

You say that now but just wait until a swarm of Martian spiders starts crawling all over the camera lenses.

Or Santa Claus.

An Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator.

That depends on what there is to find. Sure, curiosity can’t find anything like single bacteria, but if there’s something like fossil remains of macroscopic organisms tumbling out of some sedimentary stratum, it’s not going to not find it, is it?

I predict: It’ll find (coincidentally - not part of any explicit search) something tantalising that might once have been alive, but is still ambiguous. Maybe an imprint on a rock that looks like it belongs to something that branched/grew, but could have just been some kind of crystal.

I wouldn’t be astounded if indications that life once existed were found. No more astounded if not either.

Rocks, lots & lots of rocks. Some sand, dust & gravel too I’d say.

I don’t understand why they didn’t send better equipment for imaging current life on Mars unless they are just downplaying the Curiosity’s capabilities. Based on what we know about life that survives everywhere on Earth, even the deepest ocean, next to volcanos, in glaciers, and even high in the atmosphere, I would bet 5 to 1 that there is some form of life on Mars today even if it is microbial.

Life was already indirectly ‘discovered’ there in 1976 according to the most reputable downplayed news story of the 20th century. I am not sure why they would want to dick around with this one.


I agree with Shagnasty and the little I know about the current NASA indicates that some very clever engineers have created a well-balanced platform for a variety of geological survey oriented experiments. What I understand is that there is another set of smaller probes that will be sent in the following years and some of them will be more oriented toward biology.

That having been said, I can’t imagine that there aren’t some genuinely unique chemical markers that strongly indicate the presence (or previous presence) of carbon-based life. Those will almost certainly show up since it is my considered opinion that Mars has harbored life and may even do so now.

We will also likely find subsurface water-bearing mineral strata.

Prove it! :wink:

Seriously though … Colbert recently interviewed one of the chief people on the project, and he basically said the same thing. He predicted they will not find any evidence of any life ever having existed there. Struck me as odd, cuz most of them try to sell the wonder of what they do.

I lean toward ‘no life’. I figure the conditions for life must occur on other planets, but the likelihood of it happening on two immediate neighbors seems pretty low. I’d be pleased to be wrong though.