Yesterday I wrote a bit about the new NASA probe, "Curiosity," a 2.5 billion dollar nuclear powered surface robotic probe, that will be winging its way to the Red Planet. In that blog, I mentioned that Gale Crater seems to have emerged as the front runner of where to land the probe:

Gale crater reported front-runner for MSL landing site

Notably the article gives many standard, and sound, geological reasons for landing the probe at this site, not the least of which, given the extremes of the Martian landscape, would be that the Crater could conceivable be a kind of "microclimate," conducive not only to past life but perhaps the presence of microbial life in the present.

Gale does present some very intriguing features:

Sedimentary layers at Gale Crater, Mars

Gale Crater Grand Canyon

Needless to say, a nuclear powered robotic probe would be the perfect vehicle to explore such a place, provided the topographical extremes do not inhibit too much exploration. Which brings us to the issue of its name: "Curiosity." We all know what "killed the cat," but as I noted in yesterday's blog, in addition to all the scientific equipment to test for life or life-sustaining conditions, what intrigues me is that camera-on-the-mast. This will provide a bird's eye view, "up close and personal" so to speak, of the Martian surface, and frankly, I hope they do pick Gale crater as the landing site, because this would give us insights into the nature of geological processes on Mars, not to mention a glimpse into the sedimentary history of that planet, a history that would and could be very revealing about our own.

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Joseph P. Farrell

Joseph P. Farrell has a doctorate in patristics from the University of Oxford, and pursues research in physics, alternative history and science, and "strange stuff". His book The Giza DeathStar, for which the Giza Community is named, was published in the spring of 2002, and was his first venture into "alternative history and science".


  1. Bill on July 16, 2011 at 11:42 am

    A 2.5 billion dollar nuclear-powered rover, presumably with a nearly unlimited ability to “drive” most anywhere on the red planet. A camera on a tall mast. Cydonia? Why not? Hydroates Chaos? Libya Montes? Tithonium Chasma? Who’s to say that “Curiosity” won’t, after arrival wherever on Mars, turn “black,” as “Mars Observer” might have done as suggested by RCH, whereby certain “eyes only” will get to see what the rest of us are not considered privy to? Yes, for those looking for engineerable goodies scattered around a “murdered” planet; well, my money’s on this project going much the same way as “Mars Observer” back in ’93! Or at least most folks probably will never get to see the really GOOD STUFF!

  2. bdw on July 15, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    Those pics of Gale crater have that classic “electric discharge machining” look that those folks at are always pointingout, especially the canyon.

    I claim no knowledge, but until proven wrong, for me the “electric universe” approach is by far the most convincing explanation out there.

  3. Citizen Quasar on July 15, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    About that boom:

    It is possible that Martians were extremely tall when they existed and, presuming they were bipedal hominids if not primates (felines?), a 7’ boom would be useful to reach to and inspect relics at their eye or hand level up close. Yet, curiously, Curiosity is intended to look for MICROSCOPIC life, at least according to press releases.

    Hmmm… Look here again:

    That is certainly…ahem…certainly LOOKS LIKE geological layering on those canyon walls. I submit that the boom is intended to extend up or down in order to closely examine geologic layers that would normally be inaccessible to sensors on a rover without a boom.

    Depending on how the geologic layers are formed, and sedimentation comes to mind, this boom could be extended up a cliff or down a cliff or crevasse at a fault and extend the geologically accessible range of Curiosity by millions of years in either direction.

    I suspect that whatever it is that Curiosity is looking for, it is from a long time ago…geologically speaking.

  4. Citizen Quasar on July 15, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    “Look carefully at the picture…and we’ll talk on the flip side…”

    OK. So what’s in the picture?

    As far as “This will provide a bird’s eye view, “up close and personal” so to speak, of the Martian surface,” there already exists the picture below from Hoagland’s web site.

    What ARE they looking for with that boom?

  5. Tartarus on July 15, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    Is it just me, or did the Gale Crater Grand Canyon contain one of those mysterious glass tubes that have been pointed out by both Richard Hoagland and a number of other researchers?

  6. Vinnie on July 15, 2011 at 7:05 am

    While this is all wonderful theater, I keep wondering how much better off everyone might be if those billions of newly created debt and the taxes to pay the interest on them might better have been spent by Americans on real things they want and that create real jobs in the private sector rather than as welfare for the corporate cartels and central bankers?

    • Joseph P. Farrell on July 15, 2011 at 7:07 am

      No argument from me

    • Citizen Quasar on July 15, 2011 at 7:21 pm

      The Constitution allows the federal government to just print money out of thin air and to SPEND it into circulation.

      So why is the government paying interest to private banks for the private banks to print money out of thin air and to LOAN it into circulation at interest?

      • Mike M on July 15, 2011 at 9:56 pm

        In a short answer, they are either puppets or they are in on the whole affair.

  7. Hermes on July 15, 2011 at 6:59 am

    Earth is changing yes? Can Earth become a Star? NAH…but lets’ entertain an idea…no its not comeplete, its an idea 🙂

    The magnetosphere is failing. At some point it will fail and gravity will increase as energies rise without a shield. As this happens the energy coming from the Sun and the center of the galaxy will hit her and her energy will rise even more. She will begin to stand up (spin rate increasing) and center her self ending her 23.5 degree tilt. As this happens the seas will cleave the lands from her surface swallowing the lands.

    As she stands she will be covered in water with whatever remains in the atmosphere, nitrogen, carbon dioxide etc. Under the intense pressure of the energy and rising gravitational pressure the Earth implodes. Under this pressure, hydrogen and oxygen with the remaining gases ignite. She has now become a Star.

    The only question is will you bear witness? 🙂

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