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The Search for More Pork on Mars Continues

Written by Gary North on March 13, 2013

There isn’t any life on Mars. There is no evidence that there ever was life on Mars. But there is surely pork on Mars. NASA wants to continue to slice off plenty of it.

NASA today is eligible for sequestration, preferably 100% sequestration. NASA does nothing worth financing by the private sector. It never has. But now there are threats of sequestration. NASA is running scared.

So, what’s a bureaucracy to do? Recycle that old favorite, life on Mars.

To keep the search going, the media run stories once a month on “we’ve almost found it.” The basic story never changes; only the names of obscure scientists change. Because nothing is ever proven, NASA has to keep adding new names of “almost, but not quite yet” experts. I mean, it would look silly if the same old scientists kept saying “almost, but not yet.”

The latest report is in the Sydney Morning Herald. You will recognize its outline. The outline never changes. It begins with a question — a question that has produced no answer for a century. “Was there once life on the Red Planet?”

A definitive answer still eludes us, yet every sample from NASA’s Curiosity rover takes scientists a step closer to deciding whether Mars – today freezing cold, bone dry and bombarded by radiation – might once have been habitable.

Translation: The pork search is open-ended. It will continue until NASA is sequestered once and for all. The search will go on, no matter what. This is government-funded science. No search ever ends until there is a discovery that confirms the thesis. At that point, the budget doubles, in order to pursue the discovery’s fabulous implications. This is inter-generational pork.

Using its sophisticated on-board laboratory, the rover’s latest discovery is of clay minerals – including sulphur, nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and carbon. They were found in powder drilled recently from a sedimentary rock near a former streambed.

The $2 billion machine dug a 2.5-inch hole. That’s not quite a billion dollars per inch. It found nothing significant. It will therefore continue to dig holes until it ceases to function.

Look, the more holes it drills, the lower the cost per inch of holes. These are called “dry holes” in oil field research. They are called “additional scientific research” at NASA.

They should be called pork holes.

Elements like these represent a cross-section of key ingredients for life, suggesting Mars may once have sported an alien community of living microbes.

Cross-sections do not create life. Scientists don’t know what created life, but cross-sections surely didn’t.

That said, the new results fall far short of evidence for life itself – past or present. All the same, the picture now emerging of conditions on the fourth rock from the sun is encouraging. And scientists are excited.

Pork always excites scientists.

The latest findings show that habitable environments existed on Mars, says CSIRO astrophysicist Kurt Liffman. “It really is an important result: there are signs of water alteration, where the water was relatively neutral.”

The environment would have been conducive to primitive life-forms, Dr Liffman explains, although there is no evidence for these life-forms so far.

Translation: “Nothing yet. We need another hole. Maybe there will be fossils in the next hole. Each hole is 2.5 inches deep. There is plenty of planet remaining.”

The Earth boasts similar environments: dried lakebeds, for example, where ancient bacteria reside beneath the surface.

Translation: “There is life here on earth. There are also dried lakebeds here. There is lots of dry dirt on Mars. Let’s pretend these were lakebeds.”

Science marches on . . . at 2.5 inches per step.

Continue Reading on www.smh.com.au

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31 thoughts on “The Search for More Pork on Mars Continues

  1. maybe Boehner and Reid should go to visit the Red Planet

  2. Gary,
    Were it not for the space program, you wouldn't have the technology you've used here to complain about the space program.
    The fact that you are not interested in exploration outside of your limited sphere, doesn't invalidate that exploration.
    There are a lot of other things that might seem to be pointless. Your "pork" article could actually be one of those things. The space program certainly is not.

  3. Jim McClarin says:

    Gary, when you state, "There isn't any life on Mars," I suspect a faith-based dogma that recoils at the possibility of extraterrestrial life. We can agree with the immorality of spending tax dollars to look for past or present Martian life forms. We can also agree that you could be right that Mars is devoid of indigenous life now and in the past. However I will never agree that Mars is absolutely sterile simply because it's impossible to prove the non-existence of something. Further, I consider it highly likely that our understanding of the Genesis story is decidedly "Earth-centric" and not truly appreciative of the magnificence of God's works. We live on a tiny dust mote that is invisible from nearly every corner of creation. Why would God want to confine his biological creativity to just one dust mote out of a virtually infinite number of worlds? If I were a psychologist I would love to be a fly on your wall when microbial fossils are turned up on Mars or a wiggling whatzit is fished out of Europa's seas. But I am not a psychologist so I will merely pray you can adapt..

  4. Joseph C. Moore says:

    Out of the infinite number of solar systems, there could be some form of life, whether bacteria, plant or animal, existing other than ours. However, the enormous cost of our space program is better left to the future instead of draining our precarious economy toward insolvency. NASA has always provided inefficient "manned" programs of exploration instead of more efficient "robotic" exploration. I say, let private enterprise take up the space program and get the wasteful, inefficient government sponsored "NASA" out of the "Star Trek" glory seeking. We are headed down the rabbit hole of profligate spending that is unsustainable.

  5. Ignatius says:

    The only thing NASA ever invented was Tang.

  6. truthbeknown says:

    you sir have no knowledge of anything. the space program was the reason that most things today exist. you need to back to a school that teaches reality. you must be under 40. cause you have no clue.

  7. truthbeknown says:

    sorry frank that was for Ignut not you

  8. There is a difference between government funded scientific research that investigates the unknown and government funded propaganda where scientists are given the answer and they are asked to provide the data as proof. In the case of global warming the "scientists" are nothing but puppets in a political theater. In the case of exploration into the unknown the question is "would the private sector fund pure research into the unknown?". An affluent country can afford to fund some high risk ventures for sake of scientific enlightenment and the "is there life on Mars?" question is only intended to seek public interest and support. The problem with government involvement is that the mission of departments like NASA can be perverted to serve a political agenda that does not serve the greater good.

  9. The REAL pork is NASA's "reaching out to muslims" program that our nefarious dicktater has diverted NASA into. The rest we at least have learned and benefitted from. Looking for life forms is probably more religious in value that anything else (at this time, anyway), but the science we have learned from designing and testing the technology is definitely worth it, at least so far.

  10. That'd be nice

  11. " the space program was the reason that most things today exist."

    Most things…really? Such as?

    Because i can tell you right now that NASA did not invent the internet, despite Frank's assertion. UCLA and the Stanford Research Institute hooked the first computers together, ARPA/DARPA developed the communication protocols and Telenet(now Sprint) was the first commercial Internet provider.

  12. Drilling dry holes on Mars is similar to drilling dumb heads in publick skoolz…both are nothing but jobs programs for fools and income displacement from the productive to the parasites.

  13. I know from your point of view flying or floating around in a void and looking for something that doesn't want to be found is the greatest thing since skippy peanut butter! However they have aquired absolutely nothing from all the billions of dollars that has been sucked up in the black hole called NASA. I would suggest that instead of wasting all the money on some place uninhabital we should uncover the 60 or 70 percent of the earth that's under the oceans now we would be getting bang for the buck, in other words space isn't any where we need to be it's to expensive and there isn't anything there we need to see!

  14. Jstarusa says:

    Besides that, some of us dont really give a flying flip one way or another. Maybe the money would be better used in some other area right now.

  15. Jim McClarin says:

    Not to justify the spending but we now know that tardigrades, small segmented animals with legs about 1mm or less in length, can withstand the cold and vacuum of space and temperatures well above boiling. They can endure years of zero moisture and have been found living in the extreme pressure of deep ocean trenches as well as atop Himalayan mountain peaks. Because they live in a wide array of very extreme conditions they are called polyextremophiles. If ever there was a candidate for space traveling life it is the tardigrade. Let's suppose that some day Earth is destroyed by a massive impact. Tardigrades and other extremophiles might survive the breakup, travel for millions of years, and land unscathed on a new world ready to propagate. By the same process we could easily have ET life on Earth and not need to go to Mars to study it.

  16. Dick Grace says:

    Maybe, someday what the hell are you idoits talking about. Billions to snoop around in some place where nothing of value exists. Oh by the way how about a list of all these wonderful things NASA has invented and enriched our lives with that would not have been invented anyway at 2% of the cost of the space program. Complete lunacy.

  17. Music Man says:

    And then there was this article. At least it's somewhat balanced, although the title implies otherwise:

    "Astrobiologists discover fossils in meteorite fragments, confirming extraterrestrial life"

  18. The military and social security are bankrupting the country not NASA. The NASA budget is pocket change in comparison.

  19. N-never in
    A-all of time has so much confiscated wealth been
    S-squandered in achieving
    A-absolutely NOTHING!

  20. Just the Facts Maam says:

    I am one who almost 100% opposes government programs other than national defense. But Frank is absolutely correct when he defends the space program. Even our military owes much of its success at the strategic level to technology developed for the space program.

    You are totally wrong on this one Gary. NASA is one of the few government agencies that's borne fruit and has done it with a budget far more realistic than the many, many social failed programs implemented over the years. NASA can claim great success with their mission!

    In spite of this one mistake I support Gary's efforts against pork. It's just that this one isn't pork.

  21. The only reason you are free to shoot off your mouth sir is the U.S.Military. I suggest you do some research on the topic before spouting the liberal line.

  22. Bay0Wulf says:

    I know that there are many people who believe that NASA and the "Space Race" has done nothing for us. Nothing for "We the People", nothing for the Public in General and nothing for Private Companies. I know this is true and yet I have an extremely hard time understanding how they can live in THIS World at THIS Time and fail to see the benefits they have reaped and use as a matter of EVERYDAY occurrence.

    From rudimentary to the most advanced satellite technology that exists today. The communication device that sits in your pocket. The gizmo that you are LOOKING AT RIGHT NOW … your computer, tablet, iPhone, iPad. A lot of the "new" materials that you interact with every day … carbon fibre among them … The technology of electronics and the miniaturization of electronics was spurred on and largely created FOR Space (and the Military) but YOU benefit DIRECTLY in thousands of ways EVERY DAY from Our Space Race … from the work that was done FOR AND BY NASA.

    Someday WE WILL venture out to other planets. The only reason we have not as yet is BECAUSE NASA is a "Political Entity" and there has been a concerted effort to prevent Private Enterprise from entering into the fray. I was a child when "We Walked On The Moon". I believed that by now, there would have been a strong and viable effort to open our nearby space for use, habitation, exploration. I hoped to be involved int the building of this.

    In manufacturing ALONE there are TRILLIONS of dollars to be made. One day Private Industries will push out there. I only hope that they find it to be "free" and not under the control of someone with "controlling interests" like … the Chinese.

  23. MetaCynic says:

    Even though you identify no great consumer technologies developed by NASA, who says that none of those technologies, whatever they are, would not have been developed faster and better by private entrepreneurs if the capital was not consumed by NASA? Furthermore, it can be asked, what great life changing technologies have failed to see the light of day because NASA along with the military have diverted uncounted billions in capital and tens of thousands of brains toward sterile projects? Perhaps by now we would have cures for all diseases and the ability to roll back aging. That would certainly be money better spent than digging little holes in the Martian soil.

  24. Bay0Wulf says:

    Ya know? @Brian …

    You are a BOOB … I would try to make an acronym out of that for you but …

    Ya know the gizmo that you used to type your comment into? Ya know the network that existed to let you send that thought out of your house … or office? Ya know the network that stretched from your house to the server where your comment sits? Ya know the server that your comment sits IN?

    HUGE percentages of that are directly in existence due to NASA and Our Space Race.

    Ya know your Microwave Oven? Much of Your Car? Your eyewear (if you use contacts) and a large deal of medicines are attributable to things that were created ORIGINALLY for use by NASA in Our Space Program.

  25. Jim McClarin says:

    The Earth will suffer complete extinction someday. Either we can all stay here and take it like sniveling wimps or we can spread out into space, getting out of harm's way.

  26. Bay0Wulf says:

    Uh … no … NASA didn't "invent" anything David. In fact that is not and never was their job.

    NASA and the existence thereof required the existence of many things that you use today. Because of NASA the MATERIALS that exist to CREATE the internet were "created & invented".

    Outside of that … Just WHO (or what) do you think ARPA or DARPA is? Both of those agencies are (and have been) up to their eyebrows in Space Projects (ummm …. NASA) some of their VERY FIRST WORK was … ummm Telemetry Communications of … MISSILES and Space Vehicles … they actually both became serious entities when the Soviets put Sputnik into orbit.

    I mean … David, if you are going to cite history as evidence, you REALLY need to look into the evidence you plan to present.

  27. Bay0Wulf says:

    To the author of this article …

    I am stunned and amazed by your entire lack of insight as to the reality of things. OK … I grant you that looking for microbes on Mars is not sexy and of questionable importance. You, We, I should be THANKFUL that ANYTHING is being done for whatever reason due to the spinoff items that come out of such mundane missions.

    I don't know how old you are BUT.

    One day … when I was about 5 I went to a Company Gathering at my father's place of business in Upstate NY near Kingston to a Company Picnic at a place called IBM. The Pride and Joy of IBM was that it had Built the MOST IMPORTANT COMPUTER in existence … and they proudly pointed it out to us … the "Computer" was an ENORMOUS building with the Computing Power of a $5 Casio Calculator. Not even the computing power of a cheap cell phone today.

    THEN came the Space Race and NASA.

    Do you understand the implication and relationship of these two things to the use of a computer at your home? Or in your pocket?

  28. And I recall an individual who said that ONLY big businesses would have computers (and/or the need). Look at what we have today; digital watches (not analog), computers in our homes/offices, computer controlled ignition systems, etc…….. The man who said that was Ken Olsen, one of the founders of Digital Equipment corp/Compaq computers. Every day we interact with computes of some sort (watches, automobiles with computer controls, etc…. its endless now).

  29. "NASA and the existence thereof required the existence of many things that you use today. Because of NASA the MATERIALS that exist to CREATE the internet were "created & invented"."

    Wrong. NASA is not the reason materials used for the creation of the Internet exist. You are historically ignorant, so I shall correct you. Integrated circuits, which form the backbone for electronics including computers and cellphones began at Siemens AG in 1949, an IC-like device on a semiconductor. Texas Instruments developed the first actual IC in September 1958. NASA began operations October 1st, 1958, and no, TI was not building an IC for NASA.

    "Outside of that … Just WHO (or what) do you think ARPA or DARPA is? Both of those agencies are (and have been) up to their eyebrows in Space Projects (ummm …. NASA) some of their VERY FIRST WORK was … ummm"

    …was not working on the communication protocols for the Internet, and when they did develop those protocols, it wasn't for NASA, so my point still stands. While ARPA was initially created to develop space technology for military application, ARPA is not and has never been NASA. Nice try, but giving NASA credit for ARPA/DARPA doesn't fly. ARPA's mission is not just space technology and while they are a government agency and get credit for developing the communication protocols, the fact is those protocols would have been developed by someone else sooner or later. I suppose someone else at NASA might have tried it eventually, but they didn't.

    "I mean … David, if you are going to cite history as evidence, you REALLY need to look into the evidence you plan to present."

    I did as everyone can plainly see, you should consider following your own advice next time.

  30. Fallacy: Post Hoc

    Also Known as: Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc, False Cause, Questionable Cause, Confusing Coincidental Relationships With Causes
    Description of Post Hoc

    A Post Hoc is a fallacy with the following form:

    A occurs before B.
    Therefore A is the cause of B.

    The Post Hoc fallacy derives its name from the Latin phrase "Post hoc, ergo propter hoc." This has been traditionally interpreted as "After this, therefore because of this." This fallacy is committed when it is concluded that one event causes another simply because the proposed cause occurred before the proposed effect. More formally, the fallacy involves concluding that A causes or caused B because A occurs before B and there is not sufficient evidence to actually warrant such a claim.

    It is evident in many cases that the mere fact that A occurs before B in no way indicates a causal relationship. For example, suppose Jill, who is in London, sneezed at the exact same time an earthquake started in California. It would clearly be irrational to arrest Jill for starting a natural disaster, since there is no reason to suspect any causal connection between the two events.

  31. "From rudimentary to the most advanced satellite technology that exists today. The communication device that sits in your pocket. The gizmo that you are LOOKING AT RIGHT NOW … your computer, tablet, iPhone, iPad. A lot of the "new" materials that you interact with every day … carbon fibre among them … The technology of electronics and the miniaturization of electronics was spurred on and largely created FOR Space (and the Military) but YOU benefit DIRECTLY in thousands of ways EVERY DAY from Our Space Race … from the work that was done FOR AND BY NASA."

    Baloney. Anyone who wants to know the development of technology of electronics and the miniaturization of those electronics and thank those who are responsible for what Bay describes should learn about the semiconductor industry and its pioneers and leaders.

    NASA's involvement in the semiconductor industry has been minor and of little consequence.