Cancel the champagne! Turns out what we have here is a tentative conclusion made by some overzealous scientists. According to an update made earlier today, scientists working for NASA indicated that no organic molecules were found in the sample of Martian soil taken by Curiosity nine days ago. The news first appeared on NASA’s Twitter feed as follows:
“Everybody, chill. After careful analysis, there are no Martian organics in recent samples.”
This was followed shortly thereafter with:
“Why the wait? We’re moving at the speed of science. My team needed time to analyze the data.”
Uh, yeah. Because that’s what we were concerned with; the wait, not the getting of our hopes up! But last but not least, there some words of reassurance:
“Turn that frown upside down: We’re fewer than four months into a multi-year mission. We’ve only just begun!”
To be fair, this announcement doesn’t rule out the possibility of organic molecules on the Martian surface. It’s just that no organic molecules have been found yet. Unfortunately, having thought that they had detected some traces in their samples, Grotzinger conveyed the team’s excitement about the possibility of a discovery and triggered a bit of a media frenzy. Understandable, but frankly, I have a bit of a bone to pick with Grotzinger himself.
Dude, you had to know we’d all get excited and start hanging on your every update with baited breath. But in the end, we were like a bunch children on Christmas morning, desperately waiting to rip into our presents, only to find that Santa had stuck us with an IOU! Or worse, a note saying: “There are plenty more Christmas’s coming! Be happy!” Turn my frown upside down, Grotzinger? You owe me restitution!
Okay, now that I’m ranted out, I sincerely hope the mission meets with the results they are looking for soon. Granted, Curiosity still has many more years before her mission is complete, but I don’t think I can stand this kind of suspense! And frankly, I’d like to hear about some definitive proof that terraforming is possible on a planetary scale. Get on it, NASA! You got a planet to prep for colonization!