There was a hearing held by the space subcommittee of the House Science Committee for looking into the forthcoming NASA’s big-ticket to planetary exploration missions. The said missions include a Europa flyby mission, Mars 2020 rover and probably a follow-up lander to Europa, the Jovian moon.
Being an elected official calls for a complete knowledge of the subjects under discussion. Sometimes, many government officials fail to do that. The meeting was held to discuss the future exploration projects of the moons and planets in our Solar system.
Everything went smoothly in the meeting until Dan Rohrabacher, the California Republican, was given the stage. He praised the work done by NASA in the last couple of years and addressed the plans of sending a new rover on Mars by the years 2020.
He, then, raised a question about the plans of NASA for a Mars sample return mission along with the kind of fuel used. He inquired that since NASA has indicated that Mars was completely different thousands of years ago, is there a possibility of civilisation on Mars then.
Kenneth Farley, project scientist on Mars 2020 rover mission, a professor at California Institute of Technology claimed that the evidence said that Mars was different billions of years ago and there has been no evidence of the civilisation as per say. With a little more probing by Rohrabacher for confirming with absolute surety for other people, Farley claimed for the notion to be very unlikely.
(Other people might be a hint to Alex Jones, the host and conspiracy theorist of Infowars, who, last month, had said that the children from Earth have been kidnapped to act as slaves on Mars.)
After some mumbles, Rohrabacher took his seat after thanking the scientists for their prestigious work. The spokesperson of Rohrabacher claimed that the question asked by Rohrabacher was a tongue-in-cheek comment.
This entire exchange of words is delightful considering how a congressman has asked a scientist about the alien civilisation on Mars. His question cannot be ruled out completely owing to the fact that there had been the presence of water on the red planet with a habitable atmosphere on Mars before the solar and cosmic winds had stripped it out completely. Recently, even a team from Arkansas University had claimed that the present conditions on Mars are capable of containing microbial life.
Even though chances of Mars having a civilisation are thin, it cannot be completely ruled out. Curiosity Rover has released some pictures which show a six-inch man.