Talk:NASA denies rumors of finding life on Mars

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My bad, should put this material outside of the article.

NASA now says that the reports that White House was briefed about an unannounced discovery are incorrect. However, it's not clear whether there was never an unannounced discovery in the first place either. In other words, while NASA has denied briefing the White House about it, NASA has not denied that there is an significant unannounced discovery despite press reports to the contrary. In my mind, this selective denial means there is an unannounced discovery (and I can still see before me the dodgy expression on principal investigator Peter Smith's face when inquired about MECA at the recent press conference).

Please wait a week or two before declaring this a complete duck.

-- 01:53, 4 August 2008 (UTC)

Curiously, I was not the only one to note the expression on the faces of the panelists:
'[A reporter] began, if I remember correctly, by asking where the "MECA guys" were, asking if they had "been hidden under the table"... cue uncomfortable laughs from the panel...' (
Whether they were embarrased/uncomfortable because they were hiding something or because they thought it was a silly question is anybody's guess.
-- 01:53, 4 August 2008 (UTC)
Having found a video of the press conference, the question (regarding MECA, about 50:40 into the session) of the reporter in question (Craig Covault) was a little awkwardly posed (roughly: "... and have you advised the president that you're looking at what you're about to tell me you're looking at [in MECA] - I hope?") which may have been the reason for the uneasy moment. The answer, as I heard it, was plainly scientific and did not contain any indications of a cover-up, though two panelists made it clear that it would take time (a month or two) to complete a full analysis of the MECA results. -- 02:47, 4 August 2008 (UTC)
On a sidenote, Peter Smith at the conference states very literally that the mission and/or NASA has yet to discover organic materials on Mars which clearly suggest that speculations that discovery of organic compounds had been held back at the conference were wrong/incorrect. -- 03:01, 4 August 2008 (UTC)

I think the interpretation that Science Magazine contends that NASA is about to make an announcement is wrong. This is speculation on David Leonard's part, who writes for (unrelated to Science Magazine AFAICT) and . I could be missing something though. -- 03:18, 4 August 2008 (UTC)

A thorough report on the whole story with Peter Smith denying in, IMO, very clear terms that MECA has anything worthy of report yet: -- 18:46, 4 August 2008 (UTC)

Wikinewsies listen! Someone call in to the press conference!Edit

NASA will hold a media teleconference on Tuesday, Aug. 5, at 2 p.m. EDT, to discuss these recent science activities. Participants will be introduced at the start of the briefing. To participate in the teleconference, reporters should contact Steve Cole on 202-358-0918 for dial-in and passcode information. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 22:31, 4 August 2008 (UTC)

I wish my English were good enough to call in. If someone here do call in, should we coordinate it somehow? As to not have a hundred Wikinews user calling in, and also to be sure that the most important possible questions are asked. I believe NASA grants callers two questions - a question and a follow-up to that question. -- 02:22, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

I think this teleconference looks like a fairly interesting development. Maybe its about time to ship the article we have now, to let readers know something is brewing and so we can cover the conference tomorrow in a dedicated article? -- 02:25, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

On a sidenote, there seem to be two different takes on the new result, one negative and one positive: Craig Covault, who broke the rumors initially, titles his new story "NASA Mars Phoenix Data More Negative On Potential For Life", but Peter Smith finds the complexity of the amended data set "very interesting". Either Smith has different conceptions of what an interesting result is than the rest of us because he is a scientist or maybe he is referring to how radically different Martian soil must be to generate data like this, a sort of "we ain't see nothing yet" interpretation of the results. -- 02:47, 5 August 2008 (UTC)


I published because it sat for over a day in review, and no one would touch it with a ten foot poll. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 02:52, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

Good call, and nice job on the article. Now looking forward to NASA's teleconference. -- 03:05, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

A "poll" is where you gather opinions on an issue; a "pole" is generally a long circular piece of wood that you use to prod things with. --Brian McNeil / talk 11:34, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

Follow-up articleEdit

I went ahead and create the template for an article covering the teleconference: —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:55, 5 August 2008 (UTC)


Please note that NASA has only said that MECA 'may' have found perchlorate. And they have only done so reluctantly in order to quell the rumors. They are waiting for confirmation from TEGA. -- 11:28, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

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