back to article NEW ERA for HUMANITY? NASA says something 'major' FOUND ON MARS

Perhaps to give the President time to act in advance, NASA says it will unveil a "major" discovery it has made on our planetary neighbour Mars later today. Nobody knows what the discovery could be, but there has to be at least some chance that at last, alien life has been discovered on another planet than our own. The US …

  1. stucs201

    It'll be a rock

    It's always a rock.

    It might be an important and interesting rock.

    But it'll be a rock.

    (Don't take this the wrong way, I like space rocks, just not them being overhyped and the inevitable OMG-LIFE!!!1111EleventyOne!!! response from the press and others)

    1. Joerg

      Re: It'll be a rock

      Of course they tell it's always a rock. They will never tell the truth although it is full of alien life and spaceship and buildings everywhere in their own released pictures on which sometimes someone from the inside is allowing the censoring software to fail .. so that something can be seen.

      1. Mark Simon

        Re: It'll be a rock

        Are you all right?

      2. BillG Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: It'll be a rock

        NASA: "We found a rock. the rock has a chemical on it, that is similar to another chemical, that is a precursor to another cursor that looks like an amino acid that is an exciting building block of life. But we won't know for sure until we get more funding :) "

    2. Geoff Johnson

      Re: It'll be a rock

      Reminds me of this...

      LISTER: OK, OK. What's Holly spotted?

      RIMMER: An unidentified object.

      LISTER: You mean a rock.

      RIMMER: It might not be.

      LISTER: They're always rocks.

      RIMMER: Mostly they're rocks, I agree, but maybe this one's different.

      LISTER: Rimmer, there's nothing out there, you know. There's nobody out

      there. No alien monsters, no Zargon warships, no beautiful blondes

      with beehive hairdos who say, "Show me some more of this Earth thing

      called kissing." There's just you, me, the Cat, and a lot of floating

      smegging rocks. That's it. Finito.

      Sorry, can't get the formatting right.

      1. Turtle

        @Geoff Johnson Re: Reminds me of this...

        The first six lines of Lister and Rimmer reminded *me* of "Waiting For Godot".

        1. Teiwaz Silver badge

          Re: @Geoff Johnson Reminds me of this...

          "The first six lines of Lister and Rimmer reminded *me* of "Waiting For Godot"."

          Not a coincidence, the title of the Red Dwarf episode the quotes from is 'waiting for god' Series 1 episode 4.

          1. Turtle

            @Teiwaz

            "Not a coincidence, the title of the Red Dwarf episode the quotes from is 'waiting for god' Series 1 episode 4."

            Thanks for the info!

            Before I posted, I actually googled "Lister Rimmer rock" to see where the lines were from but the search didn't seem to bring up any results that struck me as relevant.

      2. Stuart Elliott

        Re: It'll be a rock

        It's a smegging garbage pod!

        1. P. Lee Silver badge

          Re: It'll be a rock

          >It's a smegging garbage pod!

          You obviously aren't a true believer!

          But what do the ancient cryptic text-speak words, "u rio sity" mean?

    3. Michael Thibault

      Re: It'll be a rock

      Of course, a rock--but with fossil.

      That, or a sock. In fact, all of the singletons ever gone missing, from the earliest years of the washing machine era to the present day.

      Either way, worth NASA having made the trip.

      1. MyffyW Silver badge

        Re: It'll be a rock

        No, socks are the pupa stage of coat hangers

        1. hplasm Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: It'll be a rock

          "No, socks are the pupa stage of coat hangers"

          Which are in turn the larval stage of shopping carts.

      2. Dazed and Confused Silver badge

        Re: It'll be a rock

        > Of course, a rock--but with fossil.

        Nah it's dust, but it's dust with a boot print with the words

        Made in China

        clearly visible in relief

    4. Steven Roper

      Re: It'll be a rock

      My money's on it being a rock as well.

      With a fossil of some kind in it. Or at least some markings that could be interpreted as a fossil.

      It's unlikely they'll find life now, but since Mars was supposed to be warmer and wetter in the past it's entirely feasible that they could discover fossils of life that existed back then.

      Either way, it would still answer the age-old question of life evolving elsewhere once and for all, and it would profoundly change our perception of ourselves in relation to the universe.

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: It'll be a rock

        If it is a fossil, there will be a lot screaming, hair-pulling, and chest-beating from various religious groups and US CongressCritters. My bet is that it's not a fossil or will be reported as "looks like but isn't a fossil". To much turmoil will be raised in tumultuous times for that kind of new. Besides, certain "believers" in Congress would kill NASA's entire budget for reasons of blasphemy.

        1. Evil Graham

          Re: It'll be a rock

          @Mark85: If it is a fossil, there will be a lot screaming, hair-pulling, and chest-beating from various religious groups and US CongressCritters.

          No there won't. They will just find new ways to deny it, misinterpret the data and discredit the authors. That's what zealots do.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It'll be a rock

        "and it would profoundly change our perception of ourselves in relation to the universe."

        Sadly, it wont. We will carry on as we are doing. Fighting amongst ourselves like we have always done. Slowly polluting our planet, just as we have always done. Ad nauseam...

        UNTIL some ET bugger actually lands here, at which point it will be taken off for "tests" at area51, ad nauseam.

    5. Wzrd1

      Re: It'll be a rock

      Unless it is a newly discovered gas gradient.

      Or my lost pen.

      Or an odd mineral never seen before on Mars, which would be a stretch.

      Hopefully, not a sign of my family Mars wilderness excursion. We always have practiced "leave no trace behind".

      But then, I was a Cube Scout. Octagons were obscene to us.

      1. James 51 Silver badge

        Re: It'll be a rock

        Or an odd mineral never seen before on Mars

        Given the amount of Mars that has been explored and analyised in detail this isn't so far fetched. Personally I think they'll annouce 'Water!' for what, the third or fourth time now.

        http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/06/25/wellies_mars_water_everywhere_500_000_years_ago/

        http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/04/14/rover_worth_its_salt_mars_sometimes_has_liquid_water/

        http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/03/06/boffins_say_mars_had_ocean_covering_20_per_cent_of_planet/

        etc etc.

        1. TeeCee Gold badge
          Coat

          Re: It'll be a rock

          Or an odd mineral never seen before on Mars

          An object more generally referred to outside specialist scientific circles as "a rock".

        2. Benchops

          Re: It'll be a rock

          Anaqueta (sp?), or an actual buried stargate

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It'll be a rock

      Let’s hope this “announcement” is vetted better than NASA’s 1996 ALH84001 meteorite claim of microscopic evidence of Mars bacteria, that is believed by the Scientific Community to be bogus. Or vetted better than NASA’s 2010 claim to have discovered a bacterium in Mono Lake that used arsenic in place of phosphorus in it’s biochemistry, only the authors of the paper (Wolfe-Simon, et al, Science 332, 1163-1166 (2010), DOI: 10.1126/science.1197258) misanalysed their own data. A careful analysis of the data presented in said paper didn’t support the authors conclusions.

    7. Mad_Max

      Re: It'll be a rock

      (Don't take this the wrong way, I like space rocks, just not them being overhyped and the inevitable OMG-LIFE!!!1111EleventyOne!!! response from the press and others)

      I disagree...

      If I were to find a space rock and it tested positive for alien life my name would be written in textbooks, spoken in schools, lectures and universities until the end of time. That "space rock" would be one of the greatest discoveries of mankind.

      1. stucs201

        Re: It'll be a rock

        *IF* it was covered in life then that would merely be appropriate hype. But the reaction we always get to the pre-announcement turns out to be over-hype when yet again the rock isn't covered in life.

    8. Martin Budden

      Re: It'll be a rock

      It wasn't a rock. It was a WET rock!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They've found 'MARVIN THE MARTIAN'

    Send for....DUCK DODGERS!

    Either that or they've found one Matt Damon's stools!

    1. Preston Munchensonton
      Pint

      Re: They've found 'MARVIN THE MARTIAN'

      Matt Damon!

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QApeYpw7KQQ

    2. DropBear Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: They've found 'MARVIN THE MARTIAN'

      Naaah, they found that HP printer....

  3. Mutton Jeff

    Nah

    They'll be unveiling nasa branded ice cream, or something.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I hope it's that the rover is currently standing knee deep in water but I suspect the earlier poster is correct and it'll be a rock.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      ... a space nazi rock!

  5. Mark 85 Silver badge

    They found the black monolith?

    Or a pile black rocks that could have been a monolith? Probably the wrong planet for the monolith, one can hope.

  6. Harry the Bastard

    let me be the first to say that

    i, for one, welcome our new martian overlords

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They have found a David Bowie LP on Mars.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Something major...

        Tom?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Do we really need teasers?

    If they have something to say, why not just say it? It's not as if it's a new Maxi iPad.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Do we really need teasers?

      If they have something to say, why not just say it? It's not as if it's a new Maxi iPad.

      On the plus side, at least they have PLENTY place to queue beforehand without disturbing traffic.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Do we really need teasers?

        IF YOU SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING!

  9. Your alien overlord - fear me

    They're using it to reveal that all the planets leaders are lizard people and we're about become farm fodder for their growing colonies.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Your alien overlord - fear me

      "They're using it to reveal that all the planets leaders are lizard people and we're about become farm fodder for their growing colonies."

      That's not news.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      http://dilbert.com/strip/1993-03-28

  10. davtom

    Maybe they'll talk about Monday's lunar eclipse.

  11. Notas Badoff
    Joke

    Surprise guest

    It'll be a picture of a metal plaque showing © 1971 and some unreadable Cyrillic characters, the surprise guest at the conference will have a Russian accent, and their simple explanation "Mars has always been part of the motherland! We will build a bridge to it."

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My money's on...

    A Tesco's carrier bag has got snagged round its wheels.

    1. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Re: My money's on...

      "A Tesco's carrier bag has got snagged round its wheels."

      Better now than a weeks time and be charged 5 pence...

  13. x 7

    not rocks, but rock snakes. Very sedentary until you shoot at them.

    or Mysterons...........

    1. Flat Phillip

      Do the rock snakes shoot sparkling cannonballs?

  14. Kaltern

    No, it'll be a pube. They get everywhere, always where you least expect them..

  15. silent_count

    NASA will announce...

    The curiosity rover has been destroyed by a disintegration ray gun owned by an irate martian father who claims the perverts at NASA were spying on his sunbathing daughters.

  16. tempemeaty

    They finally found...

    ...Jimmy Hoffa.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: They finally found...

      ...and he's alive, and angry.

  17. Zmodem

    they posted a gif

    http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/MRO/multimedia/pia14472.html

  18. Astcuzene

    "We have found a rock that highly suggest that mars may have had water! Wow! Isn't everyone exited as us!"

  19. imanidiot Silver badge

    Another bet for an interesting rock.

    Possibly with traces of moisture

  20. JakeMS

    Come on..

    Come on guys, do you really think that if NASA found life on mars or aliens they would tell us?

    If NASA told everyone there is a recently crashed alien spaceship on mars that has more advanced weapons that we could only dream of making, you know what would happen? Worldwide mass panic in one hit!

    But none the less, aliens are not real as god created us in his image and we are the only life in the universe, all alone, just us, no one else. All alone in this big place, with no one else to see, all alone :-(. Or at least, that's what the pope told me.

    (Note: I'm not religious, and my last paragraph was a joke.)

    Tell you what though, if aliens do find us, they'll be saying "Oh, don't go near Earth! It's got human beings on it, they're contagious!".

    1. Steven Roper

      Re: Come on..

      I recall somebody once saying that if NASA was going to falsify anything, they'd have more reason to falsify discovering life in space rather than suppressing it, because such a discovery would guarantee a raft of funding to investigate it further. What motives exist for suppressing the discovery of life - bearing in mind the primary motivator of all large-scale human decisions is making more money?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Steven

        I recall somebody once saying that if NASA was going to falsify anything, they'd have more reason to falsify discovering life in space rather than suppressing it, because such a discovery would guarantee a raft of funding

        There is a difference between disclosing the information to your boss (in this case the government) or to the general population. Why assume that everything will also go public?

        1. Steven Roper

          Re: @Steven

          "Why assume that everything will also go public?"

          First, that doesn't answer the question of what motive NASA (or the government) would have for suppressing the discovery of life in the first place.

          As to it going public, even if NASA wanted to suppress discovery of life for whatever reason, asking Congress for more money to investigate said discovery would very quickly result in a whole lot of beancounters asking "But what do you want the extra money for?" There would certainly be a lot of leakage from that!

    2. G Fan

      Re: Come on..

      "Tell you what though, if aliens do find us, they'll be saying "Oh, don't go near Earth! It's got human beings on it, they're contagious!"."

      True. They're made out of meat.

    3. Roj Blake Silver badge

      Re: Come on..

      Actually, the Pope is very open to the possibility of alien life.

      1. hplasm Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Come on..

        "Actually, the Pope is very open to the possibility of alien life."

        Theeeee SpacePope!!

      2. David Pollard

        Re: Come on..

        Actually, the Pope is very open to the possibility of alien life.

        Indeed, there has even been speculation at the Vatican that some extraterrestrials may have been born free from original sin.

        http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/7399661.stm

  21. Chris G Silver badge

    They have found

    An old wind up gramophone with a copy of Indian Love Call still playing on it; that's why there is no life on Mars.

  22. Mutton Jeff

    I think the old 'Sunday Sport' called it...

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/62440303@N04/sets/72157626637970276/

  23. x 7

    is it true NASA have hired David Bowie as a PR agent?

  24. Spaller

    Assuming the gummint doesn't shutdown tomorrow NASA Ames will have a private showing of The Martian tomorrow night. New scenes added?

  25. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Quortney Fortensplibe

      Re: Russians on Phobos?

      Can I have a toke on that, after you?

    2. Bernard M. Orwell Silver badge

      Re: Russians on Phobos?

      First time I've heard that particular anecdote. Have you got any links, evidence or citations we can read?

      1. Conundrum1885

        Re: Russians on Phobos?

        http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/archive/index.php/t-487586.html

        Its worth mentioning that some reactors designed for space use are based on liquid metal (specifically a Pb/Bi alloy) and the Russians used the NaK variant of this technology on several satellites (Kosmos 954, 1818 and others)

        A hypothetical >200MW variant of this technology with plutonium in the core might have been feasible with the weight allowance and the earlier two launches test runs with a dummy satellite of the same weight to fine tune the critical payload escape system for N1 launch *4.

        On orbit docking with a crew capsule then relaying previously recorded biometric data and voice comms from a dummy satellite might have accounted for some inconsistencies reported by amateur radio enthusiasts, it is actually trivial to add a fake delay and echoes etc.

    3. Dan 10

      Re: Russians on Phobos?

      A consensus among a raving gang of swivel-eyed conspiracy theorists probably doesn't count.

    4. TeeCee Gold badge
      Coat

      Re: Russians on Phobos?

      So your bet is a rock with russians on it then?

    5. P. Lee Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Russians on Phobos?

      >AFAIK its still there along with 3 now-very-wrinkly [female] cosmonauts because their resupply missions all failed

      ... and that's how we got the Leather Goddesses of Phobos!

  26. Simon Harris Silver badge

    Alien Intelligence

    They will announce that they've finally managed to decrypt one of amanfrommars's postings.

  27. Nigel Whitfield.

    The cynic in me thinks ...

    How about a movie tie in? With The Martian opening this week, what better time to talk about the science of growing stuff in your own shit.

    Perhaps that would be too cynical, even for a cash-strapped NASA and an eager marketing team. It would, however, be hilarious if they wheel out Matt Damon.

  28. Measurer

    Alien Talent

    Curiosity has discovered that Simon Cowell is there doing 'Space X Factor' (geddit?). Elvis didn't get through the first round.

  29. Big_Ted
    Happy

    People come on

    Its either a Nazi space station transfered from the Moon or a 20 year old server hidden behind a rock

    1. Simon Harris Silver badge

      Re: People come on

      or that Olympus Mons is actually a big pile of TV and DVD remotes.

      They must go somewhere when they disappear!

  30. Nifty

    "NASA to Announce Mars Mystery Solved" says Nasa's own site.

    Er.. what mystery?

    Do they mean the "Face on Mars"?

    1. TRT Silver badge

      What mystery?

      Why they renamed Marathon as Snickers.

  31. TRT Silver badge

    I thought they'd already found water...

    Perhaps it's something IN the water? Some kind of sentient virus that's just waiting to commandeer an organic and invade Earth?

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Flowing water

    My bet is on flowing water to be honest. Which seems big enough considering that there might be something in it, but that's about all I can think of. Maybe they finally discovered the blob?

    If they did then here's hoping these guys have watches their classics :)

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Halophylic prokaryotes

    have been googled today, origin an astrophysics lab with NASA connections

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: Halophylic prokaryotes

      You never met a bunch of geeks without at least one with ... hygiene issues?

  34. phy445
    Mushroom

    Perhaps...

    Perhaps they have found that man hole cover that was filmed being blown space wards in an underground nuke test?

  35. Solly
    Alien

    I've said it before....

    http://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/3/2013/02/09/mysterious_metal_mars_object/#c_1725881

  36. Tom_

    Did I miss something?

    "Nobody knows what the discovery could be, but there has to be at least some chance that at last, alien life has been discovered on another planet than our own."

    I can't understand how I missed the announcement when alien life was found on our own planet!

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    NASA drop a clanger

    It'll be soup .....

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's my keys I can never find the b*stards and they pop up in the most unusual of places.

  39. Tony Humphreys

    Spaceballs are alive and well and living on Mars, and have been stealing our oxygen and replacing it with carbon dioxide.

  40. hatti

    Ah hah

    So that's where Saddam hid the WMD's.

  41. cortland

    And there I saw

    A footprint. ONE footprint...

  42. Roger Kynaston
    Happy

    rock snakes

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zero-X

  43. Paul Renault

    "Major" Announcement?

    Major Tom?

    / Really, people need to add a "Joke Alert" icon?

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Aaaaaieeeeh!

    I'd like people to stop starting to say things, and then stop.

    1. Sarah Balfour

      Re: Aaaaaieeeeh!

      What like thi…?

  45. Jagged

    L. Ron Hubberd?

  46. John Sanders
    Holmes

    All we can wonder...

    Is how much amanfrommars does know about this, and for how long?

  47. chappers
    Pirate

    Prometheus....they found it....Prometheus

    Then some sod whom has been floating in space for 9 months, gets there and gets done over by the advanced bacteria that invades them in which we do not have any biological defence for.

    hmmmm

    who can we send first......

  48. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    The yanks have found the wreckage of Her Majesty's Cavorite Sphere Ares, lost with all hands on the disastrous Mars Expedition of 1889.

  49. Primus Secundus Tertius Silver badge

    Pollution

    They have discovered nitrogen dioxide generated by alien diesel engines. That's why the whole planet is a brown-red colour.

  50. Britt
    Go

    Funding

    I know it's old but here goes.

    In a bid to find more funding to ensure future space missions, NASA are to announce the discovery of oil on Mars...

    On a similar notes, finding water gives an energy source and Oxygen for future missions, so that's dandy. There may even be other items we can make use of.

    Iron Sky's Helium 3 sub plot jig wasn't really that far off the mark.

  51. Robert Grant

    Homo Naledi remains found on Mars!

    Didn't see that coming, did you?

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re. Homo Naledi remains found on Mars!

    H. Naledi were the Ancients, dintcha know.. the legends of a lost city were true but it actually sank beneath the quicksand waves on a completely different planet. Namely Mars.

    (scuttles back under a suspiciously crab shaped rock)

  53. Mike Shepherd

    Allow me

    Allow me to end the speculation. They found Elvis.

  54. Crisp Silver badge

    I'm surprised that no one has suggested Mysterons yet.

    We know that you can hear us ...

  55. tony2heads

    Not rocks, socks

    They might have found the other end of the wormhole where all my socks go to or come from.

    I put pairs into the washing machine and I always end up with either an odd sock or two dissimilar socks.

  56. Andy 97

    Ridley Scott in: NASA bods free tickets to see The Martian shcoka!

    I'm sure the former Hovis Bread commercial man had nothing to do with the timing, but I bet the 'shouty' marketeer types thought that all their Christmases had come at once...unless (of course), it's a rock.

  57. onceuponatime

    He's not dead

    "You know Elvis is dead right?"

    "He's not dead, he just went home."

  58. Teiwaz Silver badge

    Older references

    They found the skeleton of a 'Gentleman from Virginia'

  59. Steve Cooper

    New Scientist has just tweeted we'll learn what the spectrometer on board the MRO has found. The mars (sarcastic) rover also tweeted it's all about something from HiRISE.

    EDIT - Ah there you go, flowing water found.

    EDIT 2 - (probably)

  60. sisk Silver badge
    Coat

    It's a tripod mounted war machine of course. Or, more likely, the remains of one that didn't pass the inspection before they were buried here on Earth umpteen thousand years ago.

    Mines the one with the Kindle loaded up with classic sci-fi in the pocket.

  61. stringyfloppy

    In case it's not mentioned above (SPOILER ALERT):

    It seems that what's going to be announced is the presence of water (sometimes) on the Martian surface.

    1. Shane McCarrick

      Its actually 'running water'- according to the press release from a few mins ago.

  62. Flatpackhamster

    Great.

    Water. Now can we crack on and colonise the damn planet, please?

    1. sisk Silver badge

      Re: Great.

      We need a great deal more than just water to colonize the planet. Water's a start, but even our most theoretical current terraforming tech isn't quite up to that task yet.

  63. Kaltern

    No, because they've not actually proved it yet... only that rocks show possible signs. Possibly.

  64. Ian Emery Silver badge
    Joke

    Could it be possible the water is a spill from a McFlurry?? McD gets everywhere you know.

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