Thursday, August 07, 2008

Are you the Martian the world is looking for?

“Martian water has been touched and tasted” quotes a triumphant report from NASA. The Phoenix lander has been doing phenomenal research on the Martian soils. The MRO (Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter) has been beaming radar images of the surface and subsurface of Mars for over 4 years. Huge teams of scientists, ET (extra terrestrial) geologists, from across the world regularly analyze these data searching for vital clues to know if life ever existed or could exist on that red planet.

Since the beginning of the 19th century (or perhaps, since humankind could develop powerful optical telescopes) our curiosity for Mars is afresh. People in every walk of life from planetary observers to common man like you and me are interested in knowing about this mysterious neighbour. The number of spacecraft missions to Mars between 1960s to 2000 is a whooping 37, which holds testimony to our relentless search for knowledge about this planet.

What are we indeed looking for? Water? Minerals? Rare metals? Fuel? Or life itself? What is that one thing which pins is down to this planet? Despite finding frozen water beneath the surface of Titan (moon of Saturn), our search in Mars has never been quenched.
“Part of the reason we are so eagerly searching for extraterrestrial life is that we have not yet determined the origins of life on the Earth!” writes Dr. Alexander Bagrov from the Russian Institute of Sciences. This is the turning point in the story.

Why could it not be, that life on Earth was impregnated from Mars?

Why could it not be, that an earlier, more sophisticated life form from Mars has seeded our evolution? I believe the whole problem has to be seen from this new perspective.

I may sound absurd or wildly imaginative, but if you can fix the results from various explorations together, you may end up in my favour. “The images from Mars3 orbiter depict features which looked very much like river canyons. This made scientists wonder if water had existed on Mars! We now know that Mars was once a warm and humid planet with rivers presumably capable of supporting life” writes Bagrov. Facts like these only add to my claim.

Yes, I hear your question. Although we don’t quite well know about the origin of life on Earth, we have proved scientifically about evolution and how complex organisms evolved from the simplest amoeba. If such would be the case, how could life come from Mars?

To answer this question, we must review that one factor which is hindering human space travel – COSMIC radiation. These high energy rays would spare space crafts, but cause fatal mutations in complex organisms. Hence our ancestors in Mars should have been left with the only option of protecting and sending the simplest of all life forms – amoeba.

Mankind has always been thirsty to know its own roots, whether be the attachment to races or the highly scientific global genome mapping project. Perhaps this is one such search. We should await until the bigger picture unfolds.