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DrasticDreamer's avatar

Is anyone else excited about NASA's press conference on the 2nd?

Asked by DrasticDreamer (23969points) November 30th, 2010

I know there’s a bunch of hype about what exactly the announcement might be, but I can’t help but be pretty excited about it. I’m not expecting to hear about some advanced alien beings, but I think any kind of life would be a huge deal.

Are you going to watch it? What do you think it might be about?

Article: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-501465_162-20024158-501465.html

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19 Answers

marinelife's avatar

Wow! That’s interesting. I don’t think it will be the announcement of intelligent life, but evidence of any type of life forms would be amazing.

gasman's avatar

I tried googling this topic, but all I get is a rehash of the cryptically terse press release from Nasa:

WASHINGTON—NASA will hold a news conference at 2 p.m. EST on Thursday, Dec. 2, to discuss an astrobiology finding that will impact the search for evidence of extraterrestrial life.

A real teaser! Did they find a planet with a signature atmosphere? A piece of comet with microbes attached?? It’s fun to speculate for the next day and a half… It will probably be much more mundane.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

@gasman They did find something at Rhea: “NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has detected a very tenuous atmosphere known as an exosphere, infused with oxygen and carbon dioxide around Saturn’s icy moon Rhea. This is the first time a spacecraft has directly captured molecules of an oxygen atmosphere – albeit a very thin one—at a world other than Earth.” http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/cassini/whycassini/cassini20101126.html

This is most likely (I think) what the press conference is going to be about.

CaptainHarley's avatar

As Artie Johnson on Laugh-In use to say, “Verrrrrrry interesting!”

gasman's avatar

Yes, that article is a plausible candidate. “The new results suggest that active, complex chemistry involving oxygen may be quite common throughout the solar system and even our universe,” said lead author Ben Teolis, a Cassini team scientist based at Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. “Such chemistry could be a prerequisite for life.”

DrasticDreamer's avatar

I’m dorking out over here, majorly. Even though I know this is most likely going to be what the discussion is based upon, a part of me is still thinking, “Please at least say you found a microscopic organism, pleaseohpleaseohplease”. Ha. I’m impatient and don’t want to wait.

josie's avatar

Since some government spending cuts are certainly going to be on the table, given the ridiculous debt, deficit, and given the recent change in the House Majority, it seems clear that NASA is going to try to sell itself as too important to let go.

Cruiser's avatar

Not to be a buzz-kill but NASA has a major bulls-eye target on it’s back and is at the top of the list for the budget cuts Obama needs to even begin to put a dent in the deficit. I expect it to be a full on “gee-whiz” dog and pony show to re-generate interest and support for anything extra terrestrial so if any money is allocated to breathe life back into the NASA program this “teaser” is sure to do just that.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

@josie and @Cruiser Yeah, you two could definitely be right. I just hope not, damn it. lol

Rarebear's avatar

My guess is they are just going to announce another delay of the Discovery launch.

(I’m just being cynical—I flew out for the erstwhile launch and it’s still on the ground)

crazyivan's avatar

I’m a geek. I’m always excited about anything space related… or nano related or dinosaur related or Star Wars related or robot related or…

Zyx's avatar

Please say you’ve found space-DNA

Cruiser's avatar

After taking a peek over at NASA, it appears they have been doing a lot of astrobiological research into testing and developing drilling equipment that will function properly under the harsh atmospheric and very cold conditions for use on a possible Mars expedition. NASA has an article on the website highlighting their desire to bring back core sample of the Mars subsurface. So my guess is they will be promoting a Mars drilling and sampling expedition to us.

deni's avatar

COOL! fuck yeah!!!!!!!!!!

gasman's avatar

[ discussion continues here ]

Judi's avatar

I thought it was about the discovery of a non carbon based life form (bacteria) found here on earth
http://m.gizmodo.com/5704158/

gasman's avatar

@Judi You’ve got the right story. These are definitely carbon-based life forms. What makes these bacteria special is their use of arsenic as a substitute for phosphorus. They still need carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, sulfur, & presumably other elements as well typical of all life on earth.

Rarebear's avatar

I, for one, am excited about our new arsenic-based overlords.

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