The Curiosity rover makes a curious discovery

We take a look at a little-reported discovery made by NASA’s rover during its 2000 days on Mars.

It was reported recently that Curiosity, NASA’s car-sized rover, had already spent 2000 days exploring Mars since its landing on 6 August 2012. Details of the mission may be found here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curiosity_(rover)

Mars is further from the sun than Earth and is therefore cooler, but there has always been speculation that there may have been life on Mars in the distant past. So it came as no surprise when it was reported that Curiosity had discovered signs of an ancient civilisation. Furthermore, artefacts unearthed by Curiosity showed that the Martians used measurements of length and distance that appeared to be based on their own body dimensions. For example, for distance there was a unit that might have been close a Martian step, akin to our yard, and for shorter measurements there appeared to be units based on the Martian foot, hand and thumb.

Recently, it has been suggested that Mars may be the best hope for survival of the human race should we make Earth uninhabitable. Some may be reassured that a ready-made measurement system will be waiting for them when they get there.

ps. Readers of ‘Radio Times’ may have  seen an article by Eddie Mair on page 125 of last week’s edition, 24 to 30 March, entitled, “A ounce of sense”. He describes Britain’s measurement muddle in the 1970’s and now. Not so much ‘Plus ca change’, more ‘Toujours la meme chose’. An amusing read, so if you missed it and the magazine is now in your recycling bin, you may wish to retrieve it.

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4 Responses to The Curiosity rover makes a curious discovery

  1. Daniel Jackson says:

    "So it came as no surprise when it was reported that Curiosity had discovered signs of an ancient civilisation."

    As soon as I read this line, I knew it was an April Fools Joke.

    All joking aside, don't get your hopes up of man establishing a colony on Mars. It will never happen. Man can't live there, even in a habitat. Man can only live on earth. The weaker gravity (3.711 m/s^2) would disrupt the cardiovascular system. The thinner atmosphere will not filter out any of the harmful radiation. The rotation and orbit of Mars would interfere with the human circadian cycle. Astronauts will be dealing with nasty things like muscle atrophy and bone loss, intra-cranial pressure, psychological issues, lack of resources and long-term radiation exposure. In essence, the bodies natural rhythms are harmonised to the earth and living on mars will result in premature death.

    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/mars-colonizers-sleep_us_56a7ad18e4b0172c65944022

    https://www.engadget.com/2017/10/27/getting-to-and-living-on-mars-will-be-hell-on-your-body/

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  2. BrianAC says:

    Interesting UKMA post that on 1st April though!

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  3. Jake says:

    Perhaps that ancient civilisation reached Earth and the Martians are walking amongst us right now!

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  4. Daniel Jackson says:

    https://www.sciencealert.com/retired-professor-calls-for-standard-measurements-in-astronomy-astrophysics

    Just because someone has a degree is a science doesn't mean they are smart. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that the sole use of SI will end the muddle.

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