Mar 14th 2013 Navel Base
I’ve been a bit pressed for time this week. I haven’t even mentioned the NASA press conference Tuesday afternoon, wherein scientists told the world that their Curiosity rover, on its first serious try, had found everything on Mars except little green men. As designed, Curiosity drilled a small core sample of the Martian rock and found clay, of the type formed in fresh water. Hence, scientists have concluded that once upon a time at this site was water “you probably could drink,” and certain necessary minerals and other conditions that are known to support life. So did they find life? Or evidence of previous life? Well, no. These are scientists, after all. They’re leaving it to us to jump to conclusions. Allow me. I see it this way: its first time at bat, the Mars explorer most suited to the task of finding evidence of organic matter hit a triple in the neighboring interplanetary ballpark. Beyond that, the new art of identifying exo-planets, planets outside our own solar system, already has turned up so many other planets, including candidates in a “Goldilocks zone” of habitability, that it’s already old news. No, there’s been no photograph yet of a little green man, or woman, but circumstantial evidence is piling up fast that you were right as a 10-year-old. They’re out there!