A spaced-out theory that claimed evidence of Martian life may have been debunked by scientists after a decades-long debate that alienated some skeptical researchers.
A 4-billion-year-old Martian meteorite found in Antarctica in the 1980s was said to contain evidence of ancient living things on the Red Planet but experts announced Thursday they had confirmed it showed no signs of extraterrestrial life.
A NASA-led team of researchers suggested in 1996 that the gray-green space rock appeared to have organic compounds left behind from living organisms, which was doubted by many scientists at the time and prompted decades of further research.
A team from the Carnegie Institution for Science, led by Andrew Steele, said in a study published in the journal Science that the compounds were not the result of living creatures, but by salty groundwater water flowing over the rocks for a long period of time.
The hunks of carbon compound on the rock were determined to have been from water while it was still on Mars’ surface. Researchers said that a similar process occurs with rocks on Earth, and could explain the presence of methane on Mars.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is recruiting priests and theologians to assess how the world’s major religions would react to the news of discovering extraterrestrial life and advise the agency on how to quell civil unrest upon the revelation.
The agency has enlisted 24 religious experts to develop protocols for the discovery of alien life in its Center for Theological Inquiry program at Princeton University in New Jersey.
NASA provided CTI with a $1.1 million grant to create the program devoted to researching “the societal implications of astrobiology” in 2015.
According to its website, CTI “builds bridges of understanding by convening theologians, scientists, scholars and policymakers to think together — and inform public thinking — on global concerns.
Ronald Edwin Hunkeler was a NASA engineer who patented a special technology to make space shuttle panels resistant to extreme heat, helping the Apollo missions of the 1960s that put US astronauts on the moon in 1969.
But Hunkeler also had another claim to fame: He was the secret real-life inspiration for the demon-possessed kid in “The Exorcist.”
His identity has been kept under wraps since a series of exorcisms he underwent as a young teenager in Cottage City, Md., and St. Louis, Mo., in 1949.
For decades he was known only by the pseudonyms “Roland Doe” or “Robbie Mannheim.” His identity has been something of an open secret among the community of Jesuits who were close to the priests who participated in his exorcisms and a handful of academics and reporters who studied the phenomenon beginning in the mid-1970s.
But he lived in fear of more people finding out the truth.
NASA is extending its target date for sending astronauts back to the moon to 2025 at the earliest, the U.S. space agency’s chief said on Tuesday, stretching out by at least a year the timeline pronounced under former President Donald Trump.
Trump’s administration had set the aggressive goal of returning humans to the lunar surface by 2024, an initiative named Artemis intended as a stepping stone toward the even-more-ambitious objective of sending astronauts to Mars.
NASA Administrator Bill Nelson cited delays from legal wrangling over the SpaceX contract to build the Artemis lunar landing vehicle as a major reason for extending the target date.
“We lost nearly seven months in litigation, and that likely has pushed the first human landing likely to no earlier than 2025,” Nelson told a news conference. “We are estimating no earlier than 2025 for Artemis 3, which would be the human lander on the first demonstration landing.”
“Can you measure, um, trees?” Harris demanded, pointing at the screen with an index finger. “Because part of that data that you’re referring to, and it’s an EJ, it’s environmental justice. But you can also track, by race, their averages in terms of the number of trees in the neighborhood where people live.”
The current NASA Director Bill Nelson says he hopes that UFOs are not originating from an adversary here on Earth in an unprecedented statement.
“I’ve talked to those pilots and they know they saw something, and their radars locked on to it. And they don’t know what is. And we don’t know what it is. We hope it’s not an adversary here on Earth that has that kind of technology. But it’s something,” Nelson said.
“And so this is a mission that we’re constantly looking, ‘Who is out there?’ Who are we?’ How did we get here? How did we become as we are? How did we develop? How did we civilize? And are those same conditions out there in a universe that has billions of other suns and billions of other galaxies?’ It’s so large I can’t conceive it,” he added during a live stream chat hosted by politics professor Larry Sabato, director of UVA’s Center for Politics.