The capitalist news media has been pushing rumors that NASA was about to hold a news conference announcing that a major discovery has recently been made on the Red Planet by the Mars Science Laboratory (a.k.a. “Curiosity”).
This rumor-mongering was started, inadvertently, by Dr. John Grotzinger of Caltech, who made some intriguing allusions to big news coming out of the MSL program just in time for X-mas during a NASA teleconference a few weeks ago.
Today, NASA published a press release downplaying the rumors, which were beginning to focus on an upcoming news conference to be presented by MSL scientists at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union, which will be held in San Francisco on December 3rd.
Today’s NASA press release stated baldly that “[r]umors and speculation that there are major new findings from the mission at this early stage are incorrect. The news conference will be an update about first use of the rover’s full array of analytical instruments to investigate a drift of sandy soil. One class of substances Curiosity is checking for is organic compounds — carbon-containing chemicals that can be ingredients for life. At this point in the mission, the instruments on the rover have not detected any definitive evidence of Martian organics.”
Audio and visuals from the 3 December NASA/AGU press conference will be broadcast live on USTREAM. The text of today’s no-fun bubble-bursting press release from the wet blanket brigade over at NASA is available here.
So tell everyone to put their tinfoil hats back into storage – “little green men” have not been discovered on Mars. And the religious leaders of the world can breathe a big sigh of relief – for now. Life has not been discovered on another planet, utterly destroying thousands of years of mythologizing “the uniqueness of God’s creation here on Earth”.