Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The little Rover that could

Today I’d like to tip off my hat to the engineer at NASA would obviously do not know the meaning of the word operating parameter. The twin rover on Mars have being build to operate for 90 days on the surface of the planet, now more then 1300 days later (more then 14 time their operating specification!) both rover are still uncovering important scientific data. I think that Spirit latest discovery might be one of the most important to date: environment on Mars similar to life filled environment on Earth. (link to BBC story). While this is amazing news for the universe (since it increase the statistical likelihood of life existing elsewhere in the universe), I need to mention that the BBC article fails to mention a third possibility for the existence of those environments: in way different that anything we have seen on Earth. Still circumstantial evidence that life friendly environment existed in cold, small, dark, dry and radiation scorched Mars, is still great news for the search for life across the universe. Oh and I still want to mention that that Spirit and Opportunity are two amazing machines and humankind should be proud to be able to build and operate such tools.

5 comments:

yofed said...

That's awesome news!!! Thanks for sharing!

anyflower said...

So what are the possibilities that extra-terrestrial lifeforms will be green and jellyfish like?

asaathi said...

Good question, personnally I'd guess the probability is 1. But you'll have to search the whole universe to find out.

anyflower said...

Statistically speaking, we could just gather a significative sample from the lifeforms of the universe... the problem is: isn't the universe infininite? When can a sample be considered as sufficient? Mayday, mayday!!!

asaathi said...

Well the Universe is only infinite on our scale. Meaning that the radius of the universe is so large that we cannot ever reach it's end. Technically according to our theory the universe would be about 45 Gpc accross. Also if I remember my stat correctly a random unbias sample of 1000 object should be enough to get information about an infinite sample... the problem remains of getting that random unbias sample. We could always imagine that our galaxy is a typical galaxy and pic 1000 life bearing planets in it to see if such a life form could exist... but we still can't reach another life bearing planet in our galaxy so we are still stuck.