Tag: mars exploration (page 1 of 2)

NASA ends cover-up and finally admits water flows on Mars… but still won’t admit to proof of life on the red planet, known as a fact since 1976

​by Mike AdamsNaturalNews After years of covering up the truth about flowing water on Mars, NASA has finally come clean and admitted what we've been telling you for years here on Natural News: Water flows on Mars. I've covered this many times in radio interviews, articles and discussions about life in the cosmos, yet NASA has deliberately covered up proof of water on Mars and life on Mars for political reasons. See Natural News articles about water on Mars&n [...]

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Astronaut Bioethics: Reproducing in space, lifeboat problems & other ethical quandaries of Mars journies


Disaster can happen at any moment in space exploration. “A good rule for rocket experimenters to follow is this: always assume that it will explode,” the editors of the journal Astronautics wrote in 1937, and nothing has changed: This August, SpaceX’s rocket blew up on a test flight.
But exploding in space isn’t the worst thing that could happen. You could suffocate or be stranded on the moon—a slow death. You could be a child born in space, deformed by space radiation and microgravity during fetal development, then raised apart from the rest of humanity. You could go mad from the social isolation of space.
As Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s 100-Year Starship Mission, Inspiration Mars Foundation, Planetary Resources, Deep Space Industries, and many other private and public space programs make their grand plans, we need to think carefully about not only the physical risks of space exploration but also legal and ethical risks.
For instance, Mars One is still sorting through thousands of applications to be the first residents on Mars—and reality television show stars—with the first batch scheduled to blast off in 2023. But is it even ethical to recruit astronauts for a one-way trip—essentially a suicide mission? Or does that exploit a vulnerable population that has an overdeveloped sense of adventure or other psychological conditions?
As Facebook, OkCupid, and other technology companies recently discovered, their experiments could be seen as “human subjects research” in some key respects. Likewise, the space industry could find itself subject to this ethically strict framework and others that haven’t been discussed much. Being an adventurer or scientist doesn’t exempt you from labor laws, for instance. Herewith is a sort of Astronaut Bioethics 101. (Elon Musk, take notes.)

Lifeboat ethics in space
Let’s look at one plausible scenario to start. In 2025, suppose you are the captain of a spaceship bringing four crewmembers to the red planet. Previous spacecraft were already sent to build a basic habitat and food supply, and now your ship is only five days away from landing and joining a few others already there. But something has gone terribly wrong: Micrometeorites have pierced the hull and caused a slow leak. Calculations show there will not be enough oxygen for all four crew members to survive. Unless one person stops breathing immediately, all four will asphyxiate before landing. If you wait even one day before sacrificing a crew member, then at most two members could survive.
As the captain of the ship, what should you do? If you volunteer to die, who will then pilot the ship in the final, treacherous landing maneuvers? Should the doctor be killed, risking the future lives of the colonists? Or the engineer, tasked with keeping the habitations running? What about the scientist who hopes to make fundamental discoveries, perhaps even alien life? Should you make sure at least one male and one female survive, so future procreation is possible—and does it have to be a couple? Or should you just draw straws?
This kind of scenario could become all too real in the near future. Humans, for the first time, are beginning to extend space flight to destinations in which return to Earth is possible only in time frames of months to years, if ever. In those travels, we encounter truly novel circumstances—destinations more impossible to return from than even for Christopher Columbus sailing off to the New World.
The habitation modules of Mars One will be a fragile oasis of water and oxygen on an otherwise desolate and profoundly inhospitable Martian soil, where temperatures average around minus 67 degrees Fahrenheit. Those astronauts will be subject to the whims of solar and dust storms, meteorite strikes, physical injury, possible alien contamination, and the other barely glimpsed hazards of Martian living.
This is to say, many things can go wrong on Mars. Given the dangers and severely limited resources, including medical, what should astronauts do if they need to choose between the lives of their fellow astronauts, a so-called lifeboat decision? This is a question best answered in advanced and not during the panic of the moment, when our judgment may be compromised.
Crisis planning is neither unreasonable nor unprecedented in space or anywhere else. In the summer of 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin returned to Earth as heroes, as the first men to ever walk on the moon. But what if they never made it back? President Nixon had a speech ready for that disaster, written by William Safire: “Fate has ordained that the men who went to the moon to explore in peace will stay on the moon to rest in peace. … For every human being who looks up at the moon in the nights to come will know that there is some corner of another world that is forever mankind.”

Sex and kids
One crisis the all-male crews of the Apollo program never had to worry about was the possibility of a pregnancy in space. But that won’t hold true for would-be mixed crews headed to Mars, especially missions planning colonization.
Space agencies haven’t had to deal with it much so far, though astronauts think about sex, and it occasionally gets them in trouble, too. Given plans now for long missions, we need to confront the issue as well as the usual things related to it, such as babies.
If we send heterosexual astronauts, of different sexes and of reproductive age, on extended space missions, then the possibility of pregnancy looms. To ward that off, could it be ethical to demand sterilization for any potentially fertile astronauts in a mixed-sex crew? Radiation exposure may eventually take care of the issue by causing infertility, but some pregnancies could happen before infertility occurs. Is conception even possible in the zero-gravity of space, or in the low-gravity, high-radiation habitats on Mars? If so, would a fetus develop normally?
We don’t know, since it would seem patently unethical to even conduct these sorts of experiments today in space or anywhere else, at least with human subjects. Again, the physical and psychological dangers of procreating and living outside of Earth can seem inhumane, especially for involuntary subjects (the children). Yet many plans for space exploration already take it as a foregone conclusion that humans will reproduce in space. For some, it’s a crucial part of the business plan, as in the case of Mars One’s goal of moving toward a “permanent human settlement.”
Inspiration Mars Foundation, a competitor of Mars One, has an interesting way to account for the pesky human sex-drive on long missions: The company is recruiting older married couples to ensure stability in the relationship and to avoid the ethical problems with having babies in space. It recognizes that the problems of sex begin with interpersonal dynamics among the crew.
But why married couples? They’re infamous for squabbling in confined spaces for months on end, and more than half of marriages in the United States end in divorce. Is that really better than sending only men, or only women, or unmarried crew members into space? Other related ethical issues with sex include the possibility of rape: Should abortions be allowed in outer space—and how should crimes be handled? (We’ll return to this in a moment.)

Psychology and privacy
It will also be critical to account for mental health and resiliency on long missions. An astronaut who suffers a major depressive episode or a psychotic break while stuck in space won’t have access to medical and psychological interventions that we do here, for instance.
Governmental astronauts are carefully screened with psychological tests, since conditions such as suicidal ideation and sociopathy might cause trouble in space. If an AI is part of the crew, we might need to also test the computers, lest it get inspired by HAL and think the puny humans are getting in the way—after all, it might decide that the mission is too important to let you people jeopardize it.
But NASA’s studies of psychological problems during missions on the International Space Station, or even on pseudo-Mars habitats in the Arctic, do not begin to match the reality of the problems posed by a six-month or longer mission to Mars. The best-case scenario for those astronauts is still a constantly stressful existence within a tiny community of fellow settlers.
Major psychological challenges that are impossible to fully prepare for on Earth would include unprecedented social isolation. Real-time interaction with friends and family back on Earth will be impossible: The shortest delay for sending transmissions would be approximately 10 minutes. To make things worse, for the duration of their lives, the Mars One participants would know direct interaction only with their fellow settlers who, even if all goes well, would increase from only three people in the first two years to 23 others after 10 years.
There’s also the related problem of confinement. While some pioneers on Earth may cheerfully choose to be isolated for months to trek through unexplored reaches of the polar regions or the deep ocean, that won’t be the case for children of Mars One colonists. They’ll be stuck on Mars. Primate studies indicate that being raised in captivity has harmful effects on the development of young apes, including experiencing abnormally high fear and a reduced desire for exploration—exactly the wrong traits for success as colonists on a hostile planet. Would this spell disaster for the long-term survival of the colony, as well as for the well-being of the children themselves?
To make things worse, the astronauts would lack physical privacy for the rest of their lives in a tiny habitat on Mars. (And then there’s the whole “reality TV” angle. Would the children experience a real-life version of The Truman Show?) But we won’t even be able to carry out research to get an idea of what that would mean: It’s difficult to imagine that any institutional research board would allow anyone to risk that, and so far there’s no clear and present danger—such as a killer asteroid that may wipe out humanity—that justifies such an extreme experiment.

Laws and discrimination
To mitigate some of these problems, Mars One and others are conducting physical and psychological screening of astronauts. But in most contexts, it’s illegal to reject job candidates because they are disabled or have predispositions toward some health conditions. We can perhaps understand why a paraplegic person wouldn’t be an ideal astronaut, but what about a fully healthy person whose family has a history of cancer or depression?
As a Netherlands-based mission, Mars One would be subject to at least Dutch anti-discrimination laws, which are similar to the Americans With Disabilities Act and Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act in the United States. These laws typically bar discriminatory treatment for persons with certain physical and psychological conditions, such as a genetic disposition for Alzheimer’s disease.
The loophole here is that countries with anti-discrimination laws routinely include a “bona fide occupational qualification” exception that can justify discrimination that would otherwise be unlawful. But the BFOQ must be defensible. For example, until last year, U.S. policy presumed that women are unfit for combat roles in the military. But the reasons behind the discrimination against women in the military turned out to be weak. That kind of conversation for space missions should be made more explicit and transparent, if they want exemption from the democratic value of nondiscrimination. And the results may have implications for other BFOQs on Earth, so we need to think carefully here.
Back to the issue of sex and reproduction: Could Inspiration Mars Foundation’s astronaut-selection strategy be illegal? Labor laws prohibit recruiting only older married heterosexual couples in just about every known case, as they bar discrimination on the basis of age, gender, sexual orientation, and other differences.
One possible objection is that many or all of these private space programs are building an all-volunteer cadre of unpaid adventurers, so they aren’t employers in the usual sense and therefore shouldn’t be subject to labor laws. But labor laws also protect the unpaid, such as interns and volunteers, and presumptively cover even volunteer astronauts. It’s at least worth investigating.
You might argue that the astronaut or the workplace needs to be on Earth for labor laws to apply. After all, U.S. federal laws and regulations, such as from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, don’t reach into outer space, even if they bind NASA workers while on the ground. But NASA has its own health standards that it follows; it’s not as if all bets are off in space. Indeed, many nations have already agreed to be bound by the Outer Space Treaty and the Moon Agreement, though neither regulates the behavior of individual astronauts, only the signatory states.
These are conversations we can have right now on Earth. But legal disputes and crimes could crop up while in space, giving us good reason to export law enforcement, courts, and other state institutions off-planet. Death is inescapable before too long, and each one needs to be investigated to rule out homicide. But this is still a challenge in Antarctica and other remote parts of our home planet. Asteroid mining, Mars colonies, and other such plans already raise the issue of how property rights should be handled in space. But how do we decide which laws and institutions are needed on Mars in the first place, and who gets to decide?

Other bioethics puzzles
What about human enhancements? Artificial reproductive technologies (such as in vitro fertilization and even artificial wombs) and pre-implantation genetic testing could have a role in addressing some of the worries mentioned above. Others may be very useful for purposes beyond reproduction: a greater ability to breathe at lower partial pressures, to resist space radiation, to survive with little sleep or food, or to think faster and more clearly in stressful situations. But human enhancements raise all sorts of ethical worries in normal Earth contexts, such as safety to the human subject, fairness, reversibility, and unintended effects.
Bioethics frameworks can help us here, as we start to hit upon questions about informed consent and acceptable risk—a subject deserving of its own article. But let’s note that bioethics doesn’t need to be concerned only with human life: There are things inside us that aren’t human.
It turns out that only 1 in 10 cells in our body is actually Homo sapiens genetically, and the rest make up the flora known as a microbiome inside every one of us. The microbiome is increasingly understood to have crucial effects on our health, yet the effect of long-term spaceflight on it is largely unknown. Could zero-gravity or increased radiation environment cause unpredictable changes in our gut bacteria, perhaps even ones resulting in lethal disease? Even a pandemic in the colony?
Speaking of nonhuman life, one of the most exciting aspects of space exploration—and a main focus of NASA—is the search for alien life. One of the activities Martian colonists will likely engage in is the search for Martian microbes, in the hope that we will find a second source of life in the universe. Of course, astrophysicists such as Paul Davies remind us that life on Earth might have begun with microbes that hitched a ride from Mars. But could they hitch a ride back on astronauts? If the search for alien life on Mars fails, we will surely one day search for it in the oceans of Europa or Ganymede, or the petrochemical seas of Titan and so on, until we find that we are not alone in the universe.
In the event of alien contamination, even if a remote possibility, we need to think about the quarantine of astronauts. Under what circumstances, if any, should we deny living astronauts the opportunity to return to Earth? NASA’s Office of Planetary Protection has protocols in place, but private businesses, such as Mars One, aren’t legally obligated to follow them. Suppose a sick astronaut on a private spaceflight wants to return to Earth: Who would have the authority to forcibly stop her, even if we could? For that matter, how can we know for certain whether an astronaut is infected before it’s too late?

Look before we take another giant leap
Those bioethical challenges are just the beginning. Space agencies have long been focused on the health and safety of their astronauts themselves, and experts are looking at the ethics of finding extraterrestrial life or astrobiology. But the possibility of long missions means that other social dynamics and future generations become relevant now.
Eventually, every colony will want its independence, history suggests. For Martian settlers, that independence may exist de facto from the very start, so perhaps all bets really are off where authorities can’t reach. Thus, with the possibility of space exploration, we have a clean slate in front of us to reinvent society, without being bogged down by legacy systems for property, economics, governance, and even ethics.

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U.S., India To Collaborate on Mars Exploration, Earth-observing Mission

Source: NASA press release | Oct. 1, 2014
In a meeting Tuesday in Toronto, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and K. Radhakrishnan, chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), signed two documents to launch a NASA-ISRO satellite mission to observe Earth and establish a pathway for future joint missions to explore Mars.
While attending the International Astronautical Congress, the two space agency leaders met to discuss and sign a charter that establishes a NASA-ISRO Mars Working Group to investigate enhanced cooperation between the two countries in Mars exploration. They also signed an international agreement that defines how the two agencies will work together on the NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) mission, targeted to launch in 2020.
“The signing of these two documents reflects the strong commitment NASA and ISRO have to advancing science and improving life on Earth,” said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. “This partnership will yield tangible benefits to both our countries and the world.”
The joint Mars Working Group will seek to identify and implement scientific, programmatic and technological goals that NASA and ISRO have in common regarding Mars exploration. The group will meet once a year to plan cooperative activities, including potential NASA-ISRO cooperation on future missions to Mars.
Both agencies have newly arrived spacecraft in Mars orbit. NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) spacecraft arrived at Mars Sept. 21. MAVEN is the first spacecraft dedicated to exploring the tenuous upper atmosphere of Mars. ISRO’s Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), India’s first spacecraft launched to Mars, arrived Sept. 23 to study the Martian surface and atmosphere and demonstrate technologies needed for interplanetary missions.
One of the working group’s objectives will be to explore potential coordinated observations and science analysis between MAVEN and MOM, as well as other current and future Mars missions.
“NASA and Indian scientists have a long history of collaboration in space science,” said John Grunsfeld, NASA associate administrator for science. “These new agreements between NASA and ISRO in Earth science and Mars exploration will significantly strengthen our ties and the science that we will be able to produce as a result.”
The joint NISAR Earth-observing mission will make global measurements of the causes and consequences of land surface changes. Potential areas of research include ecosystem disturbances, ice sheet collapse and natural hazards. The NISAR mission is optimized to measure subtle changes of the Earth’s surface associated with motions of the crust and ice surfaces. NISAR will improve our understanding of key impacts of climate change and advance our knowledge of natural hazards.
NISAR will be the first satellite mission to use two different radar frequencies (L-band and S-band) to measure changes in our planet’s surface less than a centimeter across. This allows the mission to observe a wide range of changes, from the flow rates of glaciers and ice sheets to the dynamics of earthquakes and volcanoes.
Under the terms of the new agreement, NASA will provide the mission’s L-band synthetic aperture radar (SAR), a high-rate communication subsystem for science data, GPS receivers, a solid state recorder, and a payload data subsystem. ISRO will provide the spacecraft bus, an S-band SAR, and the launch vehicle and associated launch services.
NASA had been studying concepts for a SAR mission in response to the National Academy of Science’s decadal survey of the agency’s Earth science program in 2007. The agency developed a partnership with ISRO that led to this joint mission. The partnership with India has been key to enabling many of the mission’s science objectives.
NASA’s contribution to NISAR is being managed and implemented by the agency's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California.
NASA and ISRO have been cooperating under the terms of a framework agreement signed in 2008. This cooperation includes a variety of activities in space sciences such as two NASA payloads — the Mini-Synthetic Aperture Radar (Mini-SAR) and the Moon Mineralogy Mapper — on ISRO’s Chandrayaan-1 mission to the moon in 2008. During the operational phase of this mission, the Mini-SAR instrument detected ice deposits near the moon’s northern pole.

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NASA Challenges Public to Design a Piece of a Mars Probe

  Kelly Dickerson, Space.com NASA has challenged the public to design part of a spacecraft that could land future spacefliers on the surface of Mars. The NASA Mars Balance Mass Challenge runs through Nov. 21. The agency will announ...

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Spacecraft from US & India to arrive at Mars this month

Two new orbiters, including India's first Mars probe, are due to arrive at the Red Planet by the end of September.

By Elizabeth Howell, SPACE.com

The planet Mars is about to have some company. Two new spacecraft, one from the United States and the other from India, are closing in on the Red Planet and poised to begin orbiting Mars by the end of this month.

The U.S.-built probe, NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) spacecraft, is expected to enter orbit around Mars on Sept. 21. Just days later, on Sept. 24, India's Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) orbiter is due to make its own Mars arrival when it enters orbit. Both MOM and MAVEN launched to space in 2013.

MAVEN is the first mission devoted to probing the Martian atmosphere, particularly to understand how it has changed during the planet's history. 

Before that happens, however, the spacecraft must burn its engines to go into orbit around the planet, and pass a commissioning phase while taking a few precautions for a "low-risk" situation where a comet will pass fairly close to Mars. 

"We've been developing MAVEN for about 11 years, and it comes down to a 33-minute rocket burn on Sept. 21," MAVEN principal investigator Bruce Jakosky, of the University of Colorado, Boulder, told Space.com.

The spacecraft can change tracks as late as 6 hours before entering orbit, but right now, it is so close to the correct path that a planned orbital maneuver on Sept. 12 won't be needed, Jakosky said.

Comet Siding Spring will pass near Mars on Oct. 19, and around that time, MAVEN will take a break from its commissioning to do observations of the comet and the planet's upper atmosphere. Although not much dust is predicted to result from the event, as a precaution, controllers will turn off nonessential instruments and move the solar panels edge-on to the dust. The spacecraft will also be behind Mars for 20 minutes during the comet's closest approach.

Where did Mars' atmosphere go?

One of MAVEN's primary scientific tasks will be to figure out how the Martian atmosphere changed during the planet's 4.5-billion-year history.

Several NASA spacecraft have found extensive evidence that water once flowed on the planet. For water to have flowed on Mars, the planet would have required a thicker atmosphere. But why and how the atmosphere got thinner, to the way it is now, is one question that puzzles scientists.

MAVEN is expected to last at least one Earth year, but with careful use of fuel, it could last a decade — long enough for controllers to watch the upper atmosphere change through almost an entire 11-year cycle of solar activity.

Most of Mars' water disappeared about 3.5 billion years ago, Jakosky said, and there will be two approaches for MAVEN to figure out how the atmosphere played into that.

One approach will be to look at the atmosphere today and try to extrapolate its changes to what it used to be billions of years ago. However, one complication of that approach is that the sun's output has changed over time. Early in the solar system's history, the sun's total output was 30 percent less than it is today. Therefore, Earth and Mars could have been colder, but the solar wind and ultraviolet energy would have been more intense.

The second approach will be to look at the ratio of stable isotopes (element types) in the atmosphere, specifically the ratio of hydrogen to its heavier cousin, deuterium. Over time, the sun pushes lighter elements out of the atmosphere, leaving the heavier ones behind.

Scientists already have gained a pretty firm understanding of the past deuterium-hydrogen ratio by examining known Martian meteorites and older Martian minerals that NASA rovers probed on the surface, Jakosky said. The next step will be to get more information on today's conditions, to make comparisons.

"It's a powerful way to determine the history of the atmosphere," he said. "We're hoping that will be one of the early results coming out of MAVEN."

India's Mars MOM on NASA's heels

The Indian Space Research Organization's Mars Orbiter Mission is India's first mission to Mars and is designed to search for elusive methane in Mars' atmosphere from orbit. Over the years, different orbital and surface missions have found variable amounts of the gas, which can be produced by nonbiological or biological means.

MOM is expected to last six to 10 months near Mars, and has five instruments on board. The spacecraft and all of its payloads are in good health, ISRO said in a Facebook update on Aug. 30.
One of the mission's greatest challenges will be to fire the liquid propulsion engine after it sat idle for nearly 300 days in space. The engine is required to bring the spacecraft into Mars' orbit. Media reports indicate that India plans to do a test fire of the engine on Sept. 22.

If the Indian space agency is successful in reaching Mars, it will be the fourth entity to have done so, following the Soviet Union, the United States and the European Space Agency.

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NASA review panel criticizes Mars Curiosity rover, says it lacks ‘scientific focus’

Mars rover Curiosity 'selfie'


Troubles seem to be far from over for the Mars rover Curiosity which is exploring the Martian surface in search of life. A review panel for the US space agency National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has condemned the Rover Curiosity mission, saying it lack in its scientific focus.
The harsh reaction comes at a time when Mars rover Curiosity, which was launched in 2012, was spotted gazing at the Martian clouds, growing speculation among the panelists that it lacks scientific approach. Recently holes in the rover’s wheels were also reported. Moreover, NASA had to give up one of its drilling project at the Martian rock after it was found unfit for the rover.
The Planetary Mission Senior Review panel that carried an analysis of NASA’s seven planetary science missions expressed its disappointment over the success rate of Curiosity.
According to the review panel, the Curiosity mission is the NASA’s flagship Mars project which is the most expensive of the seven space missions that have got renewed funding from NASA. The panel said that seeing the extent of funding and the high expectations from the mission, Curiosity fails to make best out of its technical capabilities.
The review panel further expressed dismay saying the team behind the Curiosity mission only plans to study the eight samples during its extended mission, which is far less than the expectations from a high magnitude project like this. The panel also cited other technical problems with the Curiosity mission terming it as a poor science return to the large investment.
Recently, Curiosity was spotted gazing at the clouds of Mars, a development which was criticized by the review panel.
The rover had tweeted on September 3 that it was heading towards Pahrump Hills while advancing towards Mount Sharp for conducting geology work and search for clouds.
Robert Haberle, who is part of the Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS) team, defended the action saying it was part of the study of martian environment.
According to him, clouds are a major part of the climate system of any planet and their behavior could give close insights about winds and temperatures of the Mars.

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Richard C. Hoagland Presents a Series of Mars Anomalies

  coasttocoastam.com In tandem with his 7/2/13 appearance, Richard C. Hoagland sends a set of images & descriptions related to his presentation to the Coast To Coast radio program. 1) (Above) NASA close-up of the infamous "Face on Mars...

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NASA Says A Thigh Bone Was Not Found on Mars

That's a rock, NASA says. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)


An image from the Curiosity rover that some people thought showed a “thigh bone” on Mars is just a photo of a weathered rock, according to NASA. The photo shows the dirt-covered surface of Mars littered with bits of rock, one of which is elongated in a shape similar to a leg bone...
The image was first picked up on a UFO blog, Space.com reports, purporting to show evidence of past alien life on the planet. The claim got so much attention that NASA released the photo with an official explanation — saying the object did look like a thigh bone, but it most definitely is not.
“No bones about it! Seen by Mars rover Curiosity using its MastCam, this Mars rock may look like a femur thigh bone,” the site reads. “Mission science team members think its shape is likely sculpted by erosion, either wind or water.”

Though the Curiosity rover has found evidence that Mars could have supported life in the past, the planet likely never had enough oxygen for that life to grow any bigger than microbes, according to NASA. So a fossil of a large, complex organism is “not likely.”

This is not the first time NASA has quelled speculation about seemingly odd finds on Mars. All of the rovers’ raw images are available for free online, and enthusiasts combing through the pictures often find objects that spark conjecture about alien remnants or activities.
In February, for instance, a rock that suddenly appeared in what before had been empty ground near the Opportunity rover caused some to think aliens had moved it there. NASA stated that Opportunity’s wheels kicked up the rock as it moved.
And in April, some said a strange light in the distance in one of Curiosity’s images looked like it came from artificial sources. But images of the same spot at the same time from multiple sources revealed the oddity to simply be a trick of the light, and is likely sunlight glinting off a rock.
Seeing faces, animals or other shapes that aren’t actually there is called pareidolia, Space.com reports. On Mars, when in doubt, it’s a rock.

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NASA Swarmies Could Turn Mars Surveying Into A Group Effort

NASA Robot ants Swarmies
Teams of smaller rovers could be a more efficient strategy than relying on individual rovers like Curiosity and Opportunity

If you’ve enjoyed following the journeys of NASA’s unmanned rovers like Curiosity and Opportunity across Mars, collecting samples, taking selfies, and trying not to get stuck, you’re in for a lot more fun when NASA eventually sends its swarmies up to the red planet. Instead of a relying on a single large rover that has to do everything on its own, the swarmies would be able to communicate with each other and cooperate on pre-assigned tasks with less oversight from people back on earth, reports Kelly Dickerson for Space.com.

Swarmies look for materials like ants look for food
The strategy, similar to how an ant colony finds food, is for each rover to go off on its own and then send a message to the others when it finds something interesting so that it can get help from the rest. Although testing is still in the early stages, the rovers are already showing promise with just GPS, webcams, WIFI antennae, and programmed instructions to survey an area and look for certain materials (water, for example) scattered around the Kennedy’s Launch Control Center parking lot (ok, very early stages). According to lead engineer Cheryle Mako, the project is progressing through the early data collection and investigation phases faster than had been expected.

Swarmies don’t have a single point of failure like current Mars rovers

One of the biggest advantages of switching over to teams of rovers is that the mission doesn’t end just because one of them crashes or malfunctions. Researchers may have to scale back their goals if the team loses too many rovers, but that’s still better than having a single point of failure.

“For a while people were interested in putting as much smarts and capability as they could on their one robot,” said engineer Kurt Leucht who is also working on the project. “Now people are realizing you can have much smaller, much simpler robots that can work together and achieve a task. One of them can roll over and die and it’s not the end of the mission because the others can still accomplish the task.”

In addition to extraplanetary surveying missions, with some modifications teams of swarmies could be deployed here on earth for search and rescue missions either to complement or substitute human search efforts in dangerous areas. They could also be used by industry to inspect pipelines, and as the swarmies become more sophisticated more applications are sure to crop up.

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Curiosity Rover stuck in sand trap on Mars

This photo taken on Aug. 12, 2014 by NASA's Curiosity Mars rover shows an outcrop that includes the "Bonanza King" rock under consideration as a drilling target. NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSScbsnews.com  ...

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NASA’s Next Mars Lander Will Peer Deep Into Red Planet’s History: Here’s How

NASA's new InSight Mars Lander

By Leonard David 

A still from an animation shows NASA's new InSight Mars Lander lowering a drill onto Mars to analyze …
DENVER — NASA's next Mars lander, now under construction, will probe the inner workings and early stages of the Red Planet's development billions of years ago.
The InSight mission (short for Interior exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport), a NASA Discovery Program spacecraft, is built to respond to highly focused scientific goals.
"Things are coming together," said Stu Spath, InSight program manager here at Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, the aerospace firm building the Mars spacecraft for its 2016 liftoff. [The Boldest Mars Missions in History]

Powered descent

In many ways, InSight is a technological kissing cousin to the NASA Phoenix Mars Lander of 2008, which was equipped to investigate ice and soil on Mars's far-northern region.
InSight's will mirror the Phoenix mission in its blistering entry into the Martian atmosphere; parachute deployment; self-controlled, powered descent; and gentle meeting with the planet's surface on three outstretched landing legs.
"The lander structurally looks extremely similar to Phoenix," Spath told Space.com. However the new craft's internal electronics, such as its power distribution unit and command and data handling hardware, have been updated.
InSight's avionics draw from other spacecraft built by Lockheed Martin, Spath said. Specifically, it takes cues from the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution mission (MAVEN) en route to the Red Planet, the Juno craft headed for Jupiter, and the now-completed twin Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission probes that were sent to the moon.
NASA's Next Mars Lander Will Peer Deep Into Red …
NASA's InSight lander mission would add to the number of successful touchdowns on the Red Plan…

Two chief instruments

The InSight mission will last a Mars year, or roughly two Earth years. That is 630 days longer than the Phoenix mission lasted, which means that the lander will have to endure a wider range of environmental conditions on the Martian landscape, Spath said.
InSight will study a different aspect of planetary history with instruments never previously used on Mars, Spath said.
The Mars lander's scientific payload consists of two chief instruments:
  • The Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure provided by the French Space Agency.
  • A Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package provided by the German Space Agency.
Additionally, the Rotation and Interior Structure Experiment (RISE), led by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), will use the lander's X-band radio system to make ultra-precise measurements of planetary rotation.
Wind and temperature sensors from Spain's Centro de Astrobiologia and a pressure sensor will monitor weather at the landing site. A lander magnetometer will measure magnetic disturbances caused by the Martian ionosphere.

Come together

"It is very exciting, seeing the flight hardware start to come together," said Bruce Banerdt, the principal investigator for the InSight mission to Mars at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California.
NASA's Next Mars Lander Will Peer Deep Into Red …
NASA's InSight lander mission would add to the number of successful touchdowns on the Red Planet…
"At the same time, this is a very nerve-wracking period in the project, as testing of our instruments and spacecraft subsystems uncover subtle design and manufacturing problems that inevitably occur, and that must be corrected in the short time, just over one and a half years, before launch," Banerdt told Space.com via email.
The cost of the InSight mission, excluding the launch vehicle and related services, is capped at $425 million in 2010 dollars.

California to Mars

An upcoming milestone for the project, in aerospace lingo, is Assembly, Test, and Launch Operations (ATLO), Spath said. That evaluation begins in early November. Next June, the InSight spacecraft will face a suite of critical tests, with ship and shoot dates in December of 2015 and March of 2016, respectively, Spath said.
After those tests, InSight won't see a speedy sendoff from Florida.
Rather, the lander will travel to Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, where a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket will give the craft a boost. This will be the first interplanetary mission ever to launch from California — although in 1994, the joint Ballistic Missile Defense Organization/NASA Clementine spacecraft that studied the moon and an asteroid headed off from that launch area. 
Once Mars-bound, InSight will fly a quick trip. After roughly 6.5 months in transit, the craft will stick a landing in the southern Elysium region of Mars in September 2016.
InSight mission logo.
The specific touchdown zone is still under discussion, with Mars researchers making use of super-sharp imagery from the NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter's High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) to decide InSight's precise destination.

Work space

In August of last year, researchers trimmed the number of candidate landing sites for InSight from 22 down to four.
JPL's Banerdt said that NASA has a lot of HiRISE images now that largely confirm that the candidate sites are safe for landing.
NASA is looking for the same sort of landing features as Phoenix used. "We're using the same rock-abundance measurements that we used on Phoenix. Same with the slope requirements," Spath said. "So not too sloped, not too rocky, then it's fine to land and do the science there."
Once down on Mars, after a few days of spacecraft checkout, the lander will begin compiling pictures of the "work space," the available terrain suitable for setting up scientific equipment.
Then InSight's real legwork begins: making use of the lander's robotic arm.
NASA's Next Mars Lander Will Peer Deep Into Red …
The Interior exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) spacecraft…
"The robotic arm is critical to the success of the mission," said Spath. That camera-equipped arm will pick up the seismic and heat flow hardware from the lander's topside deck, then set it on the Martian surface.

Mars gets hammered

The first measurement tool to be placed on the Martian surface will be the Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure (SEIS) device.
"It's a top priority. We'll pick a nice, level spot. It has a self-leveling mechanism inside, but we want to get it on a flat area," Spath said. Following seismometer checkout, the lander will place a JPL-built wind and thermal shield over the device to protect it from the environment.
"We don't want the seismometer buffeting in the wind," Spath said. Such wind effects would make the device falsely record quakes or even meteorite hits on the Martian surface.
Then, the lander's robot arm will deploy the Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package (HP3). This device consists of a so-called "mole" that will spend a few weeks hammering itself 10 to 16 feet (3 to 5 meters) deep into Martian terrain. [Quiz: Mars Myths and Misconceptions]
"We're allocated something like 30 to 40 days to drill down to the final depth," Spath said.
From there, the device will monitor heat coming from the planet's interior. The mole pulls an instrumented tether behind it, a ribbon that is equipped with temperature sensors to find out the thermal gradient in the ground — the rate of temperature change with distance. A second cable provides an electrical connection to the lander.

Mix of investigations

InSight will study a mix of Red Planet vital signs, including seismic, geodetic and thermal features. That will help scientists characterize the Martian crust and mantle, as well as the properties of the Martian core.
But the findings will shed light on more than just the Red Planet, Spath said.
"Even though we're going to Mars, this is not a Mars mission … as much as it is a terrestrial planet mission," Spath said. "This mission is applicable to Mercury, Venus, Earth, the moon and Mars.”
Mars is big enough to have undergone most of the early processes that fundamentally shaped the terrestrial bodies in the solar system, yet small enough in stature to have retained the signature of those processes for the next 4 billion years, signs that Earth has lost.
Indeed, in that sweet-spot sense, InSight is a mission to a "Goldilocks" planet, Spath said. "It"s a world not too big, not too small. It's just right."

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The Real Agenda of NASA’s Curiosity Mars Rover Mission ~ Richard C. Hoagland

By Richard C. Hoagland

"It Only Takes ONE White Crow ..." 

For over twenty years, The Enterprise Mission has pursued an extraordinary scientific and political hypothesis ....
That the Earth orbits the Sun, not as "the only lush oasis amid a host of lifeless other worlds ..." but as, potentially, the lone planetary survivor of a long-forgotten ancient solar system epoch, shaped by "an extraordinarily advanced, Type II ET Civilization" -- which, after literally remaking this entire planetary system ... collapsed in a catastrophic, ancient War--
Leaving only scattered, arcane clues behind to its existence -- including, some evidence suggests, the human race itself ....

* * *

The scientific origins of this still-evolving Enterprise hypothesis trace back to the seminal discovery by NASA, in the"Viking Summer" of 1976, of an extraordinary Martian surface "artifact" -- first photographed from orbit by the Viking unmanned mission ....
The highly controversial "face on Mars."

Instantly dismissed as merely "a trick of light and shadow," the exploration of the Face's potentially "game changing" scientific origins has been center stage in the Enterprise Mission's subsequent investigation of "Cydonia" (the name of the geographic location of this amazing Martian feature) for more than 30 years ....

Subsequent NASA unmanned Mars missions (after a series of much-publicized national media "campaigns," led by Enterprise, to secure far better imagery of "the face on Mars" than Viking), finally succeeded in the early 1990's in returning startling new evidence -- of additional "statue-like" details of "the Face" -- that are impossible to scientifically "explain away" now as "merely tricks of lighting"--
Including, this stunning 2003 NASA composite (created by Enterprise from official NASA data - below) -- consisting of a black and white Mars Surveyor image (taken with afternoon light coming from the west), coupled with a "pre-dawn" Mars Surveyor color image, with pre-dawn lighting coming from the east.
The result is clearly an unbelievably ancient ... heavily eroded ... artificial monument -- its eastern side inexplicably "glowing," even in the early Martian twilight -- with obvious geometric ... prismatic ... crystalline glass structure ....

Was this enigmatic "Face on Mars" deliberately left behind, then, as a haunting "clue" to our own, in many ways, still baffling existence ... on this planet?
A Clue--
In the form of an ancient, uniquely human monument of mile-wide "mega-engineering" to our own literal creation ... left amid a "city" of equally staggering examples of "mega-engineering pyramids" (below) ... on the reddish sands of Mars--
By this same, long-vanished "Type II Civilization?"

As Enterprise, across more than thirty years, has assembled more and more compelling evidence supporting this radical idea ... the science behind the even larger hypothesis -- that this entire solar system was, somehow, in the dim and distant past, deliberately "rearranged" to support the existence of human life itself -- has also quietly evolved ....
Recent, peer-reviewed astronomical observations and analysis -- stemming from NASA's revolutionary Kepler space telescope "exo-planetary" observations of the numbers and types of "super-earth planets" found orbiting even "near-by, sun-like stars" -- have recently reached a startling "mainstream" conclusion:

"... it seems clear that our [own] Solar System — which contains no planet interior to Mercury’s P = 88 day orbit — did not participate in a major if not the dominant mode of planet formation in the Galaxy ...
"Super-earths [planets in the range of 5 to 10 times the Earth's mass] are not anomalous; they are the rule that our Solar System breaks. In a sense, the burden of explaining planetary system architectures rests more heavily on the Solar System [now] than on the rest of the Galaxy’s planet population at large [emphasis added] ...."

This gradually dawning scientific "paradigm shift" -- that there is something uniquely "wrong" (or, right!) about this solar system -- even at the level of simple planetary orbits and formation -- in our opinion, takes our 30-year-old Enterprise idea from merely being "a far-out possibility"--
To the level of a scientifically-supported model -- that could be the likely explanationfor the extraordinary solar system discoveries that NASA (and the other space agencies ...) have quietly ... secretly ... been finding, and then rigidly suppressing--
For more than fifty years!

* * *

Which brings us to what potentially could be the climax, now, of these last five decades of unprecedented solar system exploration ... and deception:
The increasingly inexplicable NASA actions going on around its latest planetary probe -- a new robot, sent just last year to once again explore another region on the surface of the planet Mars ....
A robot named appropriately "Curiosity."
And what Enterprise has now discovered of Curiosity's REAL (if still unspoken ...) "Mars Science Laboratory" Mission:
Of officially (if we're reading the murky "tea leaves" correctly ...)"discovering" ... and then,finally, revealing--
The existence of "an ancient, intelligently-inhabited epoch" on the Planet Mars!
Which, if it comes to pass, will mark the beginnings of the eventual unwinding and confirmation of our much larger Enterprise Mission, solar-system-wide, "Type II ET Hypothesis."
An impending political and scientific revolution which -- if our analysis continues to bear out -- could become visible, even to the general public and the media, as early as this year--

Which would, of course--
Change everything ....

* * *

Some further background ....

As readers of Enterprise should remember, this entire turgid tale of official "space agency deception" -- over what it's REALLY been finding (then hiding!) in the solar system for these past 50 years -- traces back, in part, to ONE specific document, revealed by our political investigations decades ago ... a "high-level" government Report to NASA (below) -- commissioned at the end of the Eisenhower Administration (in the late 1950’s) by a newly-founded "NASA."
Researched and delivered to NASA in 1960 by the famed “Brookings Institution” (a well-known, private Washington “policy think-tank”), the Report that was eventually (under the Kennedy Administration) delivered to the Eighty-Seventh Congress in 1961 and then made public, specifically warned that--
“Premature disclosure of the existence of intelligent extraterrestrial life ... or even, the proven existence of their ruins elsewhere in the solar system ..." – could, literally--
Destroy human civilization!

Faced with such dire political projections at the literal "Dawn of the Space Age," the US Space Agency (according to our Enterprise analysis ...) half a century ago began a "global, political, secret scientificcampaign" (documented in "The Monuments of Mars" and "Dark Mission: the Secret History of NASA") to eliminate -- from all scientific publications and mainstream discussions of its data -- any and all evidence of itsearly confirmationof the accumulating reality of “extraterrestrial ruins ... all across the solar system.”


Any evidence politically proving that "acquiring that crucial confirmation first hand" -- via a flurry of manned and unmanned early NASA interplanetary missions -- was, in fact, the ultimate reason for "the creation (in 1958, by President Eisenhower) of NASA (as a secret adjunct to the DOD) itself, was also ruthlessly suppressed!"

We've spent decades pursuing this unique Enterprise "extraterrestrial archaeological and political investigation," with increasing evidence supporting these startling conclusions; amid our redundant, geometric discoveries laid out in the Intelligently-Designed Complex at Cydonia, we eventually also realized that, in parallel with the shattered remains of this "ancient, solar system-wide civilization" ... there was a parallel, even more important, long-lost "Hyperdimensional Physics" in those ruins ... also waiting to be rediscovered--
A Physics -- directly "coded" (via its unmistakable "tetrahedral geometry") ... all across Cydonia itself (below)!

As has also been presented many times on Enterprise -- the latest recitation here -- this extraordinary, rediscovered field of "Hyperdimensional/Torsion Field Physics" leads, in turn, directly to an equally-extraordinary Torsion Field Technology ....

Machines which can affect -- and fundamentally transform -- not only all known interactions between "energy and matter" (such as tapping into a source of limitless, non-polluting energy ...) -- via direct manipulation of the underlying "torsion field" (aether) of three-dimensional Reality--

But a technology which, based on unlimited matter transformation, can fundamentally re-engineer entire solar systems -- literally building "artificial worlds" (below) ... if not "terraforming" natural ones into any new environment the Terraforming Engineers desire ....

It is only the existence of "Hyperdimensional Physics" that makes possible the very concept of "a Type II Civilization."

But, there was more ....

Coded in the arcane, multi-dimensional mathematics and geometry spread across the long-abandoned ruins at Cydonia were not only the keys to the Physics for rearranging the existence of all matter and energy in 3-D "physical reality" ....

Potentially, of proving the hyperdimensional basis ofConsciousness itself!

In recently reported science, there is accumulating evidence of major consciousness increases, long term, among all human populations -- based on the global results of standardized "IQ tests," going back at least a hundred years ....

Termed "the Flynn Effect," these documented changes are attributed (by some ...) to actual advances in "IQs"; we, on the other hand, have analyzed the published data NOT as "increases in fundamental human intelligence" (actually, the least likely interpretation of the data ... given the lack of any other supporting evidence for such an on-going intellectual "Renaissance!"), but as potential biological side-effects of "a changing background solar system HD/Torsion Field"--

And its fundamental "connection" to the human brain.

An"HD process," we project, which is actually increasing human intuition -- and thereby, increasing intuitive abilities for taking "IQ tests!"
If true, this continuing increase in human intuitive responses (the ability to successfully "know" the truth at an increasing rate, regardless of "logical" information to the contrary) leads us to an imminent political and social opportunity:

An increasing capability -- for an increasing percentage of the globe -- to "see through" long-standing official lies and deliberate deceptions (like, NASA's ...) -- to the underlying "truths."

If this expanded model for "the Flynn Effect" is accurate, there should also be a "consciousness window" coming, a window (based on the "rising background HD Physics") where efforts to "change the status quo" -- based on "what is REALLY going on" versus "the lies we're being told"--

Could actually break through -- based, again, on the solar system's measurably changing HD/Torsion Field ....
A "heightened conscious window ..." opening, so our HD/Torsion Model predicted, near the end of the much-hyped "Long Count Mayan Calendar" ....

If any of this preceding analysis was true, it raised the important question of "the ultimate purpose" of the Long- Count Calendar itself--

A Calendar obviously counting down to ... Something.

Could that "something" be, in part, a return to a too-long delayed, global realization of "who we really are?"

Beginning with the Truth--

On Mars?

We should soon know ....


NASA's latest Martian rover -- "Curiosity" ....

* * *

"Curiosity" -- the first nuclear-powered "roving vehicle" to be sent to the surface of another planet -- made a successfully "miracle landing" on the the planet Mars, Monday morning, August 6, 2012 ... at 05:17:57.3 UTC -- in a ~100-mile-wide, ancient Martian crater known as "Gale."
IF all the diverse elements of our extended scientific and political analysis (above) have been correctly figured out ... NASA’s latest and most powerful unmanned “Mars Science Laboratory” rover mission -- which has been exploring the deepest sections of Gale Crater now for almost a full year -- is poised to finally, officially, reveal (and possibly, within the next few months ...) its "secret" Mission to Gale Crater:
To publicly expose -- after almost forty years -- the reality of "the ancient, inhabited history of Mars" ....
Now, political projections (as opposed to scientific analyses ...) are always "dangerous" for journalists, politicians ... and certainly for scientists; as I have often cautioned readers here at Enterprise (to say nothing of countless "Coast" audiences I've also tried to warn ...), when you "step outside the box" and attempt to make a bold "political prediction" in this business -- especially, re the continuing NASA Cover-Up -- a LOT can go wrong ... specifically designed (by those behind that Cover-Up) to make you look "uncredible", i.e.--
"Really stupid."
Not the least of which -- once you've "blown" NASA's political strategy, vis a vis a coming, dramatic CHANGE in this decades-long "hiding of the REAL solar system" strategy ....

They may ... JUST to "spite you"--
Simply change the time frame ... of their planned, carefully "spun," unveiling!
With that crucial caveat out of the way, here goes our own "best guess" as to what MAY happen ... "shortly" -- vis a vis NASA's remarkable, on-going "Curiosity" Mars mission--
Which, in total contradiction to decades of repeated lies and cover-up, is quietly making public -- even as we write! -- indisputable imaging evidence proving the existence of "a former, ancient, high-tech Type II Civilization on the planet Mars" ....
All that's been missing, up'til now, has been an "official" NASA declaration--

That that's what we are looking at!
And that is our "dangrous" political prediction:
That -- within the next few months -- NASA is going to finally do--
Exactly that.
Officially declare--
"We have now discovered robust scientific evidence ... of a former Martian civilization!"
When (and if!) this remarkable political development DOES take place, it will only be belated confirmation of an early Enterprise Mission assessment we made last year, re "Curiosity's" REAL mission (during one of our many appearances on "Coast"); it was then that we first publicly anticipated thiseventual "political unveiling" of the REAL Mars ... as the ultimate goal behindthe entire Curiosity Mission!
Including, its carefully chosen landing site ellipse (below) -- inside an equally carefully-selected ancient location on Mars ... called "Gale Crater."

* * *

Gale is a remarkable, 96-mile-wide ancient impact "scar" -- lying just below the Martian equator, at 4.5 degrees south.
This color-coded NASA topographic map (above/below) depicts the range of altitude and depth exhibited by the geological features surrounding (and within) Gale Crater, compared to the "average datum" on Mars (essentially, the equivalent of distance above or below "sea level"); the depth and heights inside Gale range from over 2.8 miles (4.5 kilometers) below the Martian "datum" (coded in blue ...) to 0.9 miles above it (seen in rusty orange ...).
What makes Gale "remarkable" however, is not its diameter ... or depth ... but what lies in its center:
A vast, multi-layered "mountain" (higher than the surrounding crater rim, in some places!) -- nicknamed by NASA, "Mt. Sharp" (ostensibly, in honor of an almost legendary early space-age Cal Tech "planetary geologist," the late Robert Sharp); in truth, when I first heard "what" the Curiosity Team had nicknamed the ~3.5-miles-high, mysterious accumulation of "something" in the center of Gale Crater [its formal IAU designation is "Aeolis Mons"], my first thought was that the JPL folks were making a cute, inside "play on words" ... regarding Mt. Sharp's unmistakably obvious "tetrahedral summit" (below)!

Three-D computer modeling by NASA of Aeolis Mons (below), makes it even more apparent just how accurate that informal designation -- "Mt. Sharp" -- as applied to this enigmatic "structure" inside Gale, truly is ....
Initially, in fact, it was this blatant "tetrahedral" appearance of the summit of "Mt. Sharp" which called my own attention to the possibility that the "mysterious, ~3.5 mile high 'mountain'" taking up the bulk of Gale Crater could, in fact, be the ancient and decaying remains of yet another ... this time, truly gargantuan--
"Martian arcology" ....

Previous examples of "tetrahedral geometry" have been found elsewhere on Mars, of course -- on multiple NASA (and ESA) images, taken of many different regions, by many successive orbital missions ... stretching now over more than 30 years; these Martian "tetrahedral" discoveries began with our own extensive research on Cydonia -- in the form of indentifying the Giza-sized "tetrahedral mounds" located southeast of "the City, that I first discovered in 1983 on enhanced and recitified versions of the original NASA Viking imagery (below).

A related, more advanced form of "Martian tetrahedral geometry" -- known as a "Reuleaux Tetrahedron" -- was found on an early Mars Surveyor image (by an individual nicknamed "Mosco"), taken more than 20 years after Viking (below) -- curiously, also in the Martian geographic region called "Cydonia" (but, located quite a distance from "the City" and "the Face").

A Reuleaux Tetrahedron is a three-dimensionalconstruct, stemming from expanding into another dimension its base two-dimensional "tetrahedral" plane geometry -- a Reuleaux Triangle (below).

The redundancy across Mars of multiple variants of this specific geometric form -- the Tetrahedron -- is consistent, of course, with the overarching "Message of Cydonia" that we also figured out in 1983; that, the underlying tetrahedral mathematics and geometry echoed time and time again in "Martian architecture," found now all around the planet, is THE "code key" to understanding (and ultimately utilizing ...) the vast powers and understandings inherent in "Hyperdimensional/Torsion Field Physics" itself ....
Essential to creating any truly advanced planetary (or solar system) civilization ....
Here (below) is the most spectacular and best preserved 3-D version of this crucially significant "geometry" yet found -- a fully three-dimensional Reuleaux Tetrahedral Pyramid, discovered by the late Wilmer Faust on Mars Surveyor image E06002 -- taken July 7, 2001 in West Candor Chasma (one of the smaller, northern side canyons of the vast ~3000-mile-long "Vallis Marineris" system).

Measuring on the original NASA image almost 300 feet across, the feature (above) looks almost pristine -- the apparent result of being fairly "recently" exhumed ... after an unknown period (millions of years?) of deep "overburden" burial at the bottom of Candor Chasma -- the receding dunes still visible around it, partially covering (and thus concealing and still protecting) its northern base (upper right) ....
Eventually, geologists might be able to estimate an age for this astonishing example of "tetrahedral Martian architecture" -- if a reliable geological date for when it was initially buried could be derived from satellite measurements; if that turns out not to be possible, an in-person visit someday by a human expedition certainly seems warrented -- if, for no other reason ... than to find out what's been (deliberately?) preserved ... INSIDE.
On higher resolution Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) images (PSP_3896_1740 and PSP_002841_1740 - below), taken in early 2007, the initial impressions of "newness" from the Mars Surveyor image is tempered by better evidence of "significant erosion" ... including, realization that major portions of the northern "face" of this fascinating structure have, in fact, collapsed ... leaving a deep "talus slope" of bright, pyramid construction materials slumped against its northern base!

In this side-by-side comparison (below), the heavy damage and burial of the northern face (and the northern end of the southwestern face) of this extraordinary construct is readily apparent -- by comparing the MRO vertical (within a few degrees ...) image (left) with the geometric base outline of an undamaged Reuleaux Tetrahedrom (right) ....

In this second comparison (below) -- the ancient West Candor Pyramid (left) ... and a three-D physical model of the same tetrahedral geometry (right) -- notice on the latter, how the curve of the vertex edge closest to the camera precisely echos the mirrored "curving vertex" of the actual "Reuleaux Tetrahedron Pyramid" (in this black & white version of PSP_002841_1740RGB), to the left.

Further note, as illustrated by the model, that the most reliable means of constructing such an exotic 3-D geometry is to build it vertically in carefully-shaped(decreasing diameter) layers ... a key structural detail that will be confirmed on the actual Martian "Candor Pyramid, as we soon examine close-up MRO images of its best survivng "western face" ....

Here (below - right) is that full resolution, color MRO close-up of Wil Faust's astonishing discovery -- as seen on PSR_003896_1740.

The view reveals a host of new, tell-tale structural elements of this remarkable ruin -- including details of its (now) missing former casing on the lower-right hand "face," and the massive structural damage caused when the northern "face" (upper right) literally collapsed ... resulting in debris cascading down the surviving, exposed interior "shelves" ... to form a deep "talus" completely covering (and thus distorting) the northern base.
The third "face" (left), however, appears far more intact, including, much of its original external, brilliant casing (inset) -- the latter appearing as a series of "highly reflective, closely-spaced, horizontal sequences of parallel layers ... " seen stubbornly still clinging to much of the western face's lower expanse ....

Because significant portions of the northen face have, for unknown reasons, "sheered away" -- leaving major interior elements exposed -- we are now able to see some key structural details that would otherwise be hidden by the bulk of the previously undamaged Pyramid ... including, one remarkable, highly precise geometric feature ... positioned exactly on the northwest "tetrahedral vertex":
What appears to be a large (~20-foot ...), perfectly square doorway (arrow - below) -- seen (from MRO's vertical orbital perspective ...) diagonally.
An apparent deliberate opening ... into the Candor Pyramid's mysterious interior!

The MRO view of this extraordinary object provides not only ample confirmation of the artificiality of Faust's amazing "find" ... but, firmly puts to rest the idea that this precise geometric form could, in any way, be merely a geological "coincidence"; the still recognizable tetrahedral symmetry of this amazing ruin, despite the damaged sides -- obviously created to the exacting specifications of "a geometrically and mathematically precise Reuleaux Tetrahedron ..." -- is witness, once again, to the timelessness and universality of this ONE recurring Martian Theme--
The overarching importance of "Hyperdimensional/Torsion Field Physics."

* * *

Which brings us back to Curiosity ....
Based on these striking, multiple examples of Martian "tetrahedral pyramids," and recalling (above) the observed "Martian penchant" for echoing, redundantly, this almost obsessive "tetrahedral meme" -- it suddenly occurred to me, looking at the NASA topographic map of Gale (below), that the eroding outlines of the much larger "mountain" in the middle of Gale Crater -- beneath that clearly tetrahedral apex -- could also be tracing out the (now) almost totally degraded millions-of-years-old form (below) ....
Of a truly extraordinary--
"Reuleaux Triangle!"

Remarkably ... NASA's projected "Gale landing ellipse" for Curiosity -- even in the earliest planning stages -- fell EXACTLY on the northern demarcation boundary of such a projected "Reuleaux Triangle" -- the line separating the potentially "buried remains of a MAJOR, ancient arcological Reuleaux form ..." occupying most of Gale, from the even deeper (bluer ...) northern crater floor.

Projecting further ....

What if, the ancient "Gale arcology" we were proposing was NOT limited to the "~20-mile-diameter equilateral apex structure, still visible as Mt. Sharp's 'tetrahedral' summit," but was, instead ....

A full-blown--

Reuleaux Tetrahedron?

The possibilities stagger the imagination ....
For one thing, if built to scale ... the pointed apex of this "Gale Reuleaux Tetrahedron" would extend far above the Martian surface (below) ... and out of the atmosphere itself!
To the dizzying height of over--
~50 miles!

Now, before our critics go totally ballistic--
"But -- no such monstrous BUILDING could possibly even be constructed ... under all the laws of physics ... let alone, rise to such impossible heights!!"
I would gently remind those folks that the largest shield volcano in the solar system -- "Olympus Mons" (below) -- rises over 15 miles above the Mars "mean datum." And, it is composed, layer upon layer(from millions of years of successive eruptions at "19.5" on Mars ... )of simple volcanic basalt -- which is NOT known as "the strongest of structural materials" ....

A bona fide "Type II Civilization" would, undoubtedly, have both the exotic materials ... AND the exotic constructional techniques ... necessary to create artificial structures "impossible to even contemplate with OUR limited technology ...."
Such a massive, "coded" Symbol -- a towering planetary Monument to the Fundamental Physics which made their Civilization possible -- would be well within their reach ....
As would the sheer desire of such a "god-like Civilization" to "show off" -- by not only "rearranging entire solar systems" ... and creating "entire artificial planets" ... but, by erecting structures ON those planets that would be visible from literally thousands of miles away ....
Even ... into space itself.

* * *

In our on-going research into this extraordinary "ancient solar system civilization" scenario ...
After a currently unknown epoch of "reigning supreme" -- both on Mars, and across the entire solar system -- for some currently unknown reason ... this extraordinary Type II Civilization apparently--
Leaving behind a vast array of material artifacts -- not only all across the planet Mars ... but, from Mercury to Neptune ....
Which (on Mars) the current "NASA Curiosity Mission" is now in a unique position to both discover ... and to scientifically investigate--

In an unprecedented fashion.
In Part II of this "Curiosity Investigation," which we'll publish soon, we shall lay out some of the extraordinary evidence that Curiosity -- even at this early stage of its projected "two-year nominal mission" -- has now uncovered ... overwhelmingly demonstrating the reality of our "ancient Martian advanced civilization" hypothesis.
For, remember the old Apache saying--

"It only take ONE white crow ... to PROVE all crows aren't black!"

* * *

In the end, in seeking the plausibility of our "extraordinary Gale Arcology hypothesis" ... we must be driven solely by the forensic evidence that Curiosity herself is, even now, quietly collecting ....
And, if our equally audacious political hypothesis -- regarding Curiosity's REAL Mission -- is also accurate--
Will soon, for the first time, officially make public.
Stay tuned ....

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US and Indian Spacecraft Rapidly Approach Mars

This illustration shows the MAVEN spacecraft in orbit around Mars, imagined with Earth in the background. NASA/Goddard  Elizabeth Howell, Space.com     Two Mars-bound spacecraft are both in excellent health ahe...

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