Monday, 10 June 2013

Opportunity rover on Mars


As the current two Mars Rovers continue their work on Mars, back on Earth scientists huddle over computers looking at the amazing results of not the newest rover, but the nine year old Opportunity.

Opportunity is an amazing mission, achieving far more than its original programming or its builders ever hoped. Mars is such a hostile world, you have the cold, the low light levels which can starve Opportunity of power. You have of course the fine grain dust that squeezes into every component, hinge and joint plus of course the hostile Sun, without the protection of a magnetic shield the Rovers receive high doses of radiation every minute of their existence.

So considering all the hostile conditions it is amazing that Opportunity is still running nine years down the line after its bumpy pillow landing. Not only is that some magnificent achievement, but it is still finding and discovering rocks and deposits that make its younger rover cousin jealous.

We now have enough proof that not only did water run freely on the surface of Mars, but that it was not all acidic. It is likely as the planet aged and lost what little magnetic shield it had that the surface gradually became more hostile and the water more acidic. But the key, the most important discovery of all, Mars had drinkable water in its distant past.

With that knowledge, and with the knowledge that in the past when Mar's core was hot and volcano's still spat hot rock, that Mars could have and was likely to be the cradle of life.

Not just a cradle for itself, but it could well turn out in the next decade that not only did it cradle its own life, but it may well have been the cradle for all life in our Solar System.

If you look at the surface of Mars it is cratered with huge Stella impacts. It is these impacts that brought life to Earth. Two of these impacts created us and maybe created species two, Vumans. 

This is the premise of ORIGIN, a must read Vampire Science Fiction crossover that reboots the entire genre.

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