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Astrobiology

Astrobiology News That NASA's Astrobiology Program Ignores

By Keith Cowing
May 6, 2021
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Astrobiology News That NASA's Astrobiology Program Ignores

Volcanoes On Mars Could Be Active, Raise Possibility of Recent Habitable Conditions, PSI
“Evidence of recent volcanic activity on Mars shows that eruptions could have taken place within the past 50,000 years, a paper by Planetary Science Institute Research Scientist David Horvath says. … A volcanic deposit such as this also raises the possibility for habitable conditions in the near surface of Mars in recent history, says Horvath. “The interaction of ascending magma and the icy substrate of this region could have provided favorable conditions for microbial life fairly recently and raises the possibility of extant life in this region.”
Volcanoes on Mars Could be Active, Raising Possibility that the Planet was Recently Habitable, University of Arizona
“Evidence of recent volcanic activity on Mars shows that eruptions could have taken place in the past 50,000 years, according to new study by researchers at the University of Arizona’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory and the Planetary Science Institute. … The volcanic deposit described in this study, along with ongoing seismic rumbling in the planet’s interior detected by InSight and possible evidence for releases of methane plumes into the atmosphere detected by NASA’s MAVEN orbiter, suggest that Mars is far from a cold, inactive world, Andrews-Hanna said.”
Keith’s note: Conditions that might support extant life on Mars? Wow. That’s Astrobiology! But do you see ANY mention by NASA’s Astrobiology program? No. They either do not know how to tell everyone or they do not care to. Hard to tell. But NASA SMD ignores this stuff too. No mention is made on the SMD science news page even though NASA missions Mars InSight and Maven were involved. And of course, the SMD Science page does not even list “Astrobiology” as a topic so it is not surprising that they ignore this too.

NASA Watch founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.