Feeds

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

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

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Bond villains lament as Wicked Lasers withdraw death ray
Want to arm that shark? Better get in there quick
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
The next big thing in medical science: POO TRANSPLANTS
Your brother's gonna die, kid, unless we can give him your, well ...
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
Reuse the Force, Luke: SpaceX's Elon Musk reveals X-WING designs
And a floating carrier for recyclable rockets
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
Simon's says quantum computing will work
Boffins blast algorithm with half a dozen qubits
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
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.
The Heartbleed Bug: how to protect your business with Symantec
What happens when the next Heartbleed (or worse) comes along, and what can you do to weather another chapter in an all-too-familiar string of debilitating attacks?