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Why We're No Longer Looking for Life on Mars

Just as NASA was about to solve the mystery of whether or not there is life on Mars, the world went broke and both NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) had to back off on their plans to send astronauts and rovers there to find out. Two NASA missions to Mars--one in 2016 and another in 2018--have been canceled.

In the March 13 edition of the New York Times, Kenneth Chang quotes Planetary Society director Bill Nye as saying, "The pipeline is being shut off, and that's not what anyone wants. We are closer than anyone has ever been to discovering life on another world."

While the sad state of the economy seems obvious, the reasons for cutting Mars explorations aren't clear to all scientists. Change quotes astronomer Raymond E. Arvidson as saying, "We seem to have gotten the drastic cuts relative to other parts of NASA. Why?" Could it be that discovering life on another world is "bad politics" that would alienate fundamentalist religious voters?

While European economies are hurting as well, the ESA might turn to Russia as a new partner for the Mars missions that NASA will no longer pursue, which is a shame, since NASA spent 15 years laying the groundwork for future Mars explorations. Chang quotes NASA's John M. Grunsfeld as saying, "We still have very exciting things to do in science."

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It could be that we are all Martians!
Did life on Earth actually come from the Red Planet?:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/46748344/ns/technology_and_science-science/#...

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