We don’t yet know if there’s life on Mars, but now that we’ve found water, we know that there could soon be life there?HUMAN life. But we need more than water, we need food. Well, surprise! Martian dirt is similar to “potting soil” on earth?you could grow vegetables in it. In fact, BBC News reports that it would be excellent for growing asparagus.

BBC News quotes chemist Samuel Kounaves as saying, “We basically have found what appears to be the requirements, the nutrients, to support life, whether past, present or future.” He found the soil to be “very friendly? there is nothing about it that is toxic. It is the type of soil you would probably have in your back yard?you know, alkaline. You might be able to grow asparagus in it really well.”
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The Phoenix lander has found ice on Mars. Astronomers identify it as ice because some of it that was unearthed in a trench dug by the lander disappeared 4 days later, meaning it melted or vaporized. NASA thinks that water is “locked up” in a layer of permafrost just under the surface of Mars.

BBC News quotes NASA’s Peter Smith as saying, “It must be ice. These little clumps completely disappearing over the course of a few days?that is perfect evidence that it’s ice?There had been some question whether the bright material was salt. Salt can’t do that.” But is it WATER ice??the kind that can support life (either Martian or human, should we eventually set up a colony there).

Stay tuned.
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…and this means WATER! – As we’ve written about before, the big problem with colonizing Mars is finding water on the red planet. Now NASA’s new Martian landing craft the Phoenix has touched down on a large patch of ice!

BBC News reports that the lander’s descent actually blew away a layer of dirt, exposing the ice.

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Art credit: NASA

NOTE: This news story, previously published on our old site, will have any links removed.read more

Listen to this week’s Dreamland for new insights – An unusual image was taken by the Mars Rover Spirit last November. The fact that it appears to be a figure of some sort is being dismissed by planetologists as an example ofpareidolia, the human tendency to unconsciously constructapparent human images out of random forms that suggest them. It’s quite small, just a few feet from Spirit, but it is apowerful reminder of how littlewe actually know about Mars, and the dismissive reaction inthe scientificblogosphereis a warning that,if we don’t keep an open mind about the red planet’sanomalies, we are never going to understand.read more