Feeds

NASA: 'Those life-on-Mars rumors? Chill, dudes and dudettes'

Monday's big news less Earth Mars-shaking than world had hoped

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Calm down, Mars fanatics. NASA has tossed a wet blanket over speculation that its Curiosity rover has found evidence of life – or, at minimum, of organic compounds – on the Red Planet.

"Rumors and speculation that there are major new findings from the mission at this early stage are incorrect," the agency plainly stated in a press release on Thursday.

And if that weren't enough to dry up speculation, they added a bit more clarification. "At this point in the mission," the release from NASA's Pasadena, California, Jet Propulsion Laboratory says, "the instruments on the rover have not detected any definitive evidence of Martian organics."

If optimistic dreams keep your motor running, you can always hang onto the phrase "definitive evidence" and hope for the best.

NASA's need to dampen expectations as to what it will announce in San Francisco at the American Geophysical Union's Fall Meeting next Monday is arguably its own fault. Last week, Curiosity's principal investigator John Grotzinger told NPR, "This data is gonna be one for the history books. It's looking really good."

That was enough to set world+dog abuzz. Had Curiosity's Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument turned up evidence of organic compounds? Did the "methane or no methane" question swing back in methane's favor? Did Curiosity's Mastcam spot John Carter?

Apparently not – and at this very moment a horde of journos, their managing editors having read NASA's press release, are now unpacking their bags and canceling their travel plans to our Cool Grey City of Love.

Too bad. We Frisco folks and our tourist-friendly watering holes could have used the influx of expense-account cash. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less
'Some might find this idea offensive' boffin admits
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
Human spacecraft dodge COMET CHUNKS pelting off Mars
Odyssey orbiter yet to report, though - comet's trailing trash poses new threat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.